PM-Elect Narendra Modi Made Magnanimous Victory Speech

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PM-Elect Narendra Modi Made Magnanimous Victory Speech

Narendra Modi addressing a public meeting in Vadodara on May 16, 2014.

New Delhi:  Hours after his party's stunning win in the election, Narendra Modi said on Friday that he would work for the good of all Indians in his maiden address as the country's prime minister-elect. (Read more)

The dramatic victory by Mr Modi and his BJP is the first time a single party has won a majority in the parliament for three decades.

Last evening, thousands of people dressed in saffron orange, the party's official colour and a shade associated with Hinduism, packed into the main square of Vadodara, Mr Modi's constituency in Gujarat.

"I want to tell my fellow Indians that in letter and spirit I will take all Indians with me," Mr Modi said, flashing broad smiles throughout his address and wearing a checked beige and white tunic.

"This is our aim, and I will not leave any stone unturned."

His comments appeared to be aimed at quelling concerns among India's Muslims, numbering some 17.5 crore, that he would be biased against them.

Many Muslims still mistrust Mr Modi due the 2002 communal riots that took place on his watch as chief minister.  At least 1,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims. A Supreme Court inquiry has found no case against him; detractors accuse him of not doing enough to stop the violence.

Results show that the BJP set to win in half of the country's constituencies that are home to large Muslim minorities.

The BJP had won or was leading in 282 seats in India's lower house of parliament, over the 272-seat mark needed for a majority, election commission data showed late last evening. The national alliance led by the party was ahead in 339 seats.

In his speech in Vadodara, Mr Modi also struck a conciliatory tone toward political rivals, and said he would work with opposition parties.

The BJP will not need allies to form a government, but it will have to call on outside support to pass laws in the Rajya Sabha or upper house, where it only has around one fifth of seats.

"The election period is over and it is time to put the heat and dust behind," Mr Modi said on Friday. "I hope I will get the support of everyone, including my opponents."

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