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India polls: Newspapers urge triumphant Modi to reach out to Muslims

Published on May 17, 2014 3:28 PM
 
A selection of front pages of Indian newspapers with news of the election victory of Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in New Delhi on May 17, 2014.Indian newspapers on Saturday urged prime minister-elect Narendra Modi to reach out to Muslims and avoid the temptation of triumphalism after the Hindu nationalist leader's crushing election victory. -- PHOTO : AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian newspapers on Saturday urged prime minister-elect Narendra Modi to reach out to Muslims and avoid the temptation of triumphalism after the Hindu nationalist leader's crushing election victory.

After winning the first outright majority by anyone for 30 years, Mr Modi will not have to seek out coalition allies who might otherwise act as a moderating influence on his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.

But the main newspapers said it was vital Mr Modi allay the fears of minorities who did not jump on his electoral bangdwagon, particularly Muslims who remember how around 1,000 people died in communal riots in 2002 soon after he took over as chief minister of Gujarat state.

"The reality remains that there is a huge trust deficit with the minorities, especially the Muslim community, which must be addressed," said an editorial in The Hindu.

 
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