Posted by: John Elliott | December 5, 2008

Mumbai votes for Narendra Modi as national leader


Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

An opinion poll published this morning by Mumbai’s DNA daily newspaper shows a majority of respondents in the city favouring Narendra Modi, the controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister of Gujarat, as most likely “to provide the kind of leadership required to bring about real change” following last week’s terror attacks in the city. (To find the DNA survey report  – see pic below – click here and search Archive for Dec 5)

Nationally  Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress Party and of the governing coalition,  came out tops with 23% of the vote, closely followed by prime minister Manmohan Singh with 22%, L.K.Advani, the BJP’s national leader at 18%, and Modi with just 14%.

mumbai-vote-for-nmodiBut the result was reversed in Mumbai. There Modi led with a dramatic 47% while Advani, Singh, and Gandhi got 10-13% each.

 This is significant because it shows the views of the educated middle class of the city that has been hit most often by terror attacks in recent years, culminating in last week’s commando-style invasion of the Taj and Oberoi hotels, a Jewish centre, and other targets.

As I suggested in a post on December 3, there is a demand across the country for new strong leadership. If the current national leaders do not perform, it is quite possible that the country will turn to the BJP in next year’s general election. Many will then want Modi – a powerful orator and capable administrator – to provide a nationalist hard-line lead.

Such a development would of course be opposed across the political spectrum – including by some BJP leaders – because of Modi’s arch Hindu-nationalist leanings and his record over Gujarat’s Godhra massacre six years ago. He would therefore have great difficulty stitching together a coalition with regional parties .

But the Mumbai vote, in an opinion poll conducted for DNA by IMRS Advisory, a market research firm, cannot be ignored. It is a warning to more moderate leaders to change or risk being swept aside.

• I was on America’s National Public Radio on December 3 answering questions about the events of the past week – you can find it on



  1. […] […]

  2. Now India needs a modi.

  3. For a prime minister we need a people’s leader, someone like Mr. vajpayee and advani or even yashwant sinha(the unsung hero of today’s growing economy). Age doesn’t matter but charisma and the ability to appeal to masses is important. That i believe only BJP leaders have even after being critisized by NDTVs etc for being biased.
    We all know the credibility of indian media after relentlessly covering of mumbai attacks like idiots with mikes not realizing the consequences it would lead to. The terrorists had blackberrys and channels like NDTV made their job as easy as 123! Exaggerate news to such an extent that it disturbed the minds of hindus.
    Yes there was rioting but there were riots in 1984 too but was the congress able to stop them? That’s why they are called riots. Unless the country’s police is as strong as greek, it is impossible to fight and neutralize rioters. especially with sticks. Believe me or not, its up to the patriots but will not bow my head or hide the truth anymore. I know our voice will be heard someday. Period.

  4. Change is must now. Public is frustrated now by incapable,corrupt,impotent leaders. Roaring lion like Modi will always be welcomed by people.

  5. Only Modi is capable leader to fight against terrorism and all rounder for Developement,Fighting Corruption,and by all means.We become sure about it if we at least once visit his site
    No political leader will have this much transparency and management skills-for sure.

  6. advani is gone case
    we need modi

  7. Godhra is yarn started by P Sec idiots for gullible people like us. why hasn’t the roles of Journos like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Prannoy Roy, Prabhu Chawla been under the scanner as yet, as I clearly remember that it was their reporting which created more tension resulting in more clashes in Gujrat.

    Coming back to the point..NaMo has all capabilities to be the PM of India, however, I full faith in LK Advani inspite of his advanced age. I want to see NaMo as the Home Minister of India in LK Advani’s cabinet.

    We need people like him to TERRORIZE THE TERRORISTS.

    Jai Hind

  8. if like Yeats says ‘the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity’ – anything is possible – anywhere, anytime

  9. Narendra Mo for dictator/Bharat Raja

  10. Mr. Modi, to give the devil his due, is a capable administrator. All the growth indices of Gujarat attest to this.But he is weaned on a diet of hatred and therefore is unfit to rule the country we know as India – a pluralistic, multi-religious, multi-ethnic nation.

    He might jettison his hatred stance and concentrate on development, but just like Advani has difficulties in convincing the nation of his moderation, so will Modi.

    What are we looking for in the next election? A leader. Not somebody who can create only growth, but equitable growth.

    Not just for Hindus and Muslims, but also the various other minorities about whom the discourse is blind – the adivasis whose land we are pillaging for natural resources while shortchanging them and being blind to the ecology.

    So we need somebody who can speak well, is a good Orator that is, someone who can cut red tape, someone who represents the aspirations not just of the middle class, but the youth – the future of every country; somebody whose vision of the future of India is born out of the cauldron that is India.

    There is P. Chidamabaram, there is Arun Jaitley from the BJP if it comes to that party, Jairam Ramesh of the Congress, Nitish Kumar who would have had a good term if not for the floods.

    India doesn’t want divisive politics and politicians. Modi in himself doesn’t guarantee security. It is the coming together of civil society, bureaucracy and the government that will make it secure. Not a government that promulgates, a babudom that favors red tape and a population that is inert.

  11. Mumbai reflects the nation. My vote for Modi.

  12. 5.12.2008
    I am a very much follower of Mr. Modi. But to become PM he has to wash the black spot of post Godhra 2002 riots which is haunting Modi. For this Modi has to remove anti-social and corrupt BJP workers those spoils Modi’s image. Our own hindus / BJP rebels those are against Modi are doing propoganda gainst him in India / abroad to tarnish his Secular image.
    People are not ready to accept that Modi is too much secularand not against the minorities. To become PM of India Modi has to work hard and should adopt soft hindutava policy of Mr. A.B. Vajpayeeji. His own one wing of Saffron i.e. VHP is propogating against Modi.

  13. That is true John. One day Narendra Modi will be seen as an Indian Prime Minister very soon. Because he is having all the capabilities which should be there in a true leader.

  14. Narendra Modi getting these votes in Mumbai might not all be endorsement of his publicly perceived hindutva agenda. He has performed. He is appreciated amongst the elite for being proactive. Majority of educated Indians are just too frustrated to hear every politician claiming to do wonders for India only to never show their faces again after being voted to power. In Narendra Modi, they probably see someone who walks the talk even if they don’t agree to everything he might have to say.

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