NEW DELHI: Thousands of flag-waving supporters mobbed Indian prime minister-elect Narendra Modi as he made a triumphant entrance in New Delhi Saturday after securing a historic victory for his Hindu nationalist party.
The 63-year-old flew into Delhi’s main airport in the late morning from his home state of Gujarat to bask in the glory of a landslide for the Bharatiya Janata Party and begin organising his cabinet.
The controversial politician, a former tea boy tainted by anti-Muslim riots on his watch as chief minister in Gujarat, has the strongest mandate of any Indian leader in 30 years.
A crowd of party supporters, waiting at the airport since early morning but entertained by a marching band and thumping dance music, burst through police barricades at the sight of his cavalcade.
He emerged from the door, smiling and flashing victory signs, as many strained for a glimpse and showered the vehicle in rose petals.
“Modi is our lion! He will work for the people of India, he will work for development, he will work for every Indian,” shouted Om Dutt, a 39-year-old shop owner, reflecting heady expectations of what he will deliver.
As he drove to his party headquarters in the centre of the capital, thousands lined the streets dressed in t-shirts bearing his face, with police having to frequently push back well-wishers.
“I thank the BJP workers wholeheartedly,” he said at a festive headquarters flanked by senior party figures such as Rajnath Singh and Ravi Shankar Prasad who are likely to take government roles.
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