New Delhi, Dec 23: Terming Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in Gujarat spectacular, senior BJP leader L K Advani today said it was indeed a turning point in the history of Indian democracy, where people of the state have reposed faith in the party yet again.
''I heartily congratulate the people and the party for this resounding victory,'' he said. ''In 2002, when the BJP won, the critics attributed this victory to the 'burning train', but of course this was not true. With this renewed mandate, the party has conclusively shown that the people had voted for good governance, development and a leadership that delivers,'' he added.
He said the Congress campaign was unprecedented vilification of the BJP and negative personalised campaign against Mr Modi. It was also a reminder of 1971 campaign where the entire opposition was on an anti-Indira platform (minus the vilification element), Mr Advani said. Mrs Gandhi skilfully used this by raising the slogan 'Garibi Hatao' to her advantage, he added.
Mr Advani said this victory has also highlighted important lessons for the polity. Mr Modi has also disproved the conventional wisdom that the good governance does not end up in good politics. He has also won on a development plank, Mr Advani added.
The party has shown that the election can also be won by not appealing to caste and communal sentiments.
Mr Advani said the BJP has shown that it was capable of getting a renewed mandate without terrorising and obstructing voters sympathetic to an opposition party like the CPI(M) in West Bengal and it was also a victory against politics of vilification, negativity and arrogance.
''I cannot think of any other leader in Indian politics in the past 60 years who was as viciously and consistently maligned as Mr Modi since 2002,'' he added.