India's Modi wins state poll, may boost PM ambitions
NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Narendra Modi won a fourth successive term as the chief minister of India's Gujarat state on Thursday, a victory that could launch the prime ministerial ambitions of one of the country's most popular but controversial leaders.
His Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 115 of the state legislative assembly's 182 seats against 61 for the Congress party, which heads India's national government. The result is likely to have repercussions far beyond the borders of the prosperous western state of 60 million people.
Modi's supporters shouted "PM, PM" at his victory speech. He addressed the crowd in Hindi rather than Gujarati, which was seen by commentators as an attempt to address a national audience in preparation for a possible run for higher office.
"I apologise for the mistakes I've made," Modi told the crowd. "You have given me power. Give me your blessings so that I make no mistakes in the future." Modi first came to power in Gujarat in 2001, and subsequently won elections in 2002 and again in 2007.