India polls: Modi faces mammoth task in meeting soaring expectations
Published on May 16, 2014 8:14 PM
GANDHINAGAR (REUTERS) - About a year ago, Mr Narendra Modi sat down with some of India's best and brightest to mount a "shock and awe" election campaign that a strategist likened to a one-sided US military operation against Saddam Hussein's forces in the Gulf.
From an unmarked office in Gandhinagar, the capital of Mr Modi's home state of Gujarat, the young men and women, some on sabbaticals from firms like JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank, worked on turning a fragmented parliamentary election involving 543 seats into a presidential-style referendum on candidate Modi.
In doing so, Mr Modi cut loose from the traditional Delhi-based structure of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its apparatchiks and adopted the language of a youthful country eager for change, using everything from holograms to WhatsApp.
The modern approach worked: just an hour into the counting of votes on Friday, it was clear that the 63-year-old Modi was heading for a stunning victory with the strongest mandate any Indian government has enjoyed for 30 years.
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