Narendra Modi was today unanimously elected the leader of Gujarat BJP legislature party, which later met Governor Kamla Beniwal and staked claim to form a new government in the state under his leadership.
Earlier, all 114 newly-elected BJP MLAs chose Modi as their leader at a meeting here, paving the way for his swearing-in as Chief Minister for the fourth time, in the presence of central party observer Arun Jaitley.
Modi's name was proposed by Vaju Vala, Finance Minister in the outgoing Cabinet, and seconded by four other senior legislators. All other party MLAs supported the 62-year-old BJP stalwart's candidature for the top post.
Gujarat BJP President R C Faldu later led a delegation of party leaders to Raj Bhavan here and handed over a letter to the Governor informing her about Modi's election.
Modi will take oath tomorrow at 11 AM. BJP had won 115 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly in the just-concluded polls.
In his address to the MLAs at the city town hall, Modi congratulated BJP workers and credited them for the party's "historic" victory in the Assembly elections.
"If any of the newly-elected MLA here believes that he won because of Narendra Modi then he is mistaken because this win is not due to the magic of Modi but is the result of hard work of BJP workers," he said.
"Each and every party worker worked with dedication, not only for elections but through the last many years to develop trust with people and that has brought this win."
"The BJP in Gujarat has established high moral standards and has become a role model for all other political parties in the country. BJP in Gujarat has shown team spirit in true sense," he added.
BJP in Gujarat believes in building relationships and not only in enrolling members, Modi maintained. "This is the real
capital of BJP and people who didn't realise this failed to
evaluate our party in right perspective."
In a clear departure from the tone of his speeches during the Gujarat poll campaign, Modi emphasised on the primacy of the party over an individual. "BJP in Gujarat is not a person- based system. It is based on value, ideology and cadre."
Modi congratulated former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 88th birthday and wished him a long life.
Earlier, Jaitley congratulated Modi on his election as the legislature wing leader.
Speaking at the meeting, the senior BJP leader said "there are instances of a single party forming Governments for four times. But to win elections and form Governments continuously for 20 years is a historic feat. This has never happened in the past 30 years and Gujarat is the only state to achieve this."
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha praised the leadership of Modi, saying "in Gujarat we have a leadership that no party has ability to compete against."