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Hailing the party's poll performance in Gujarat, the BJP today gave credit to Narendra Modi for the victory and said that had the organisation been similarly united in Himachal Pradesh, it would not have been voted out.
"Congress will have to do a lot of introspection in Gujarat... Narendra Modi has a lot of support of the cadre and the party. This is an emphatic win and he has won for the third time in a row," BJP leader Arun Jaitley told reporters here.
Jaitley had been closely involved in the BJP election campaign both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
"There was no anti-incumbency in Gujarat. Congress tried to damage BJP and despite the presence of another party (Keshubhai Patel's GPP), our results have been good," Jaitley said.
Asked if this victory paves the way for Modi to become BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate in the 2014 elections,
Jaitley said today's result is for 2012 elections.
"This may be an interesting topic from the media's point of view but we will take a decision at the appropriate time," Jaitley said.
On the poll loss in Himachal Pradesh, Jaitley said Prem Kumar Dhumal had performed well as the Chief Minister and the loss margin was narrow.
"But there were too many rebels this time in Himachal Pradesh. Had we been able to put our house in order, we would have won... Had the party been united as it was in Gujarat, results would have been different in Himachal Pradesh," Jaitley said.
Earlier, BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad also parried questions on whether he will be the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections.
"Modi bhai has always been an important leader in the BJP... We are not a dynastic party which is led by a Yuvaraj. We function in a pure democratic fashion," BJP chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He was asked whether the third straight victory in Gujarat has defined Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for the BJP in the next Lok Sabha election in 2014.
The party should be allowed to rejoice in its performance-led victory in the state, Prasad