Thousands of BJP supporters gave a rousing welcome Saturday to Narendra Modi, set to be India's prime minister, as he flew into Delhi and set out in a motorcade to the party headquarters. A sea of supporters waved BJP flags, blew conches, beat drums, danced and shouted slogans as soon as Modi stepped out of the airport after flying in from Gujarat. The celebrations continued all through the long route.
Besides BJP president Rajnath Singh, the seven newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party MPs from Delhi were among those who received Modi, visiting Delhi a day after the announcement of the Lok Sabha results. As Modi set out from the airport, he leaned out of the front window and flashed a V sign. The motorcade, now protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG), then proceeded to the BJP headquarters, at times slowing down to acknowledge the greetings of Modi fans gathered on the streets. A mass of flag carrying, Modi-mask wearing supporters were at select spots along the route from the airport to the BJP office in the heart of the capital.
Modi led his party to a stunning victory, making the BJP the first non-Congress party since independence in 1947 to win a comfortable majority on its own in the 545-member Lok Sabha. "We have great hopes from Modiji. There is no leader like him," Poornima Rawat, a young party worker, told IANS. BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media: "Today is a day of celebration. Party workers are enthusiastic. The country is enthusiastic. Entire India has voted for him." More than 1,000 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Delhi Police personnel were deployed at the airport since early morning.
Modi contested from Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. He won handsomely from both places. Modi is here to attend a key BJP meeting. He will later Saturday visit Varanasi to pray at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and take part in the Ganga Aarti.