It is a fantastic achievement that he has won the third election in a row with an increased majority and higher vote share. Does this mean that he is the next prime ministerial candidate? I am afraid, absolutely no. Do not just look at the result in Gujarat, look at the result in Himachal. Narendra Modi went to campaign for the party in Himachal Pradesh. In Himachal Pradesh, you had a party which had been doing about 8% GDP growth, good social indicators, doing quite well. Modi went and campaigned out there and it was a complete flop show.
Earlier this year, there were state elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand where Modi was asked to campaign. He refused to do it. He was busy with Sadbhavana Programme. So we do not know what impact Modi would have done. However, while the BJP did badly in Uttar Pradesh, it won along with the Akali Dal in Punjab and it only lost in Uttarakhand. Overall, it was not a bad performance of the BJP, minus Modi. Now that has to be compared with what the performance of Himachal Pradesh with Modi was and that was a total flop show. So I would say the big thing that comes out is that the moment Mr Modi goes outside Gujarat, his midas touch disappears and if this is the case, what are his credentials as a national leader?