by Wu Qiang
NEW DELHI, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Firecrackers and a carnival will mark Delhi and other Indian cities overnight.
An upbeat India entered a new era Friday by delegating sweeping power to the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by its charismatic and tough leader Narendra Modi while wiping out the ruling Congress stuck in a quagmire of inactivity and anachronism.
The vote counting began in the cool and comfortable morning of the Indian capital and by halfway, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has already been assured of a landslide victory over the Congress, by nearing the 300-seat mark in the 543-seat Lok Sabha or Lower House of Parliament.
Through an unprecedented campaign rampage across the nation, the 63-year-old Modi has proved himself to be capable of forming a federal government, the strongest since the time of Indira Gandhi who was killed in 1984.
But the essential message from this event is that Indians are betting their fate on a common man.
For Indians, the coming to power of BJP is in conformity with their wish for a strong government, good governance and revival of the economy and social development, which remained stagnant under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) over the past several years.
The humiliating defeat of the Congress also signaled the inevitable decline of dynasty politics represented by the Nehru- Gandhi clan, said analysts. Other smaller dynastic clans in states also met with defeat or setbacks in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, two most populous states of India.
Being proud of being a tea-seller at a railway station when he was young, Modi is widely looked upon as a figure comparable with other Asian strongmen like Lee Kuang Yew who turned Singapore, a small city state, into an economic and technological power house.
Three-time chief minister of the state of Gujarat, Modi has proved his capability of bringing about jobs, growth and infrastructure as well as people's daily facilities.
By using development as the catchword for his campaign, Modi also is closely in touch with the basis of Indian society.
His style of communicating with people is seen as a key to the success of his campaign, which brought him to thousands of meetings and millions of people over the past year.
"There has to be some substance why this man has been chosen to run for prime minister... there must be something about this tea- seller from Gujarat. There has to be," said political analyst Sreenivasan Jain.
One example of his speech at a rally in Uttar Pradesh has shown how he can be felt to be a common man but at the same time hitting the core soft corner of his rivals, said Jain.
When Modi opened his speech, he asked thousands of his listeners: "Have you been to Taj Mahal?" "Do you take pictures of it and share them on WhatsApp?"
When the answer was positive, he continued: "Rahul Gandhi doesn 't go to Taj Mahal. He goes to the homes of the poor and then gets the media to file it and shows it to the whole world." -- a roar of laughters.
"I used to sell tea on trains. I know how difficult it is to make a living," he said repeatedly to his audience.
For hundreds of millions of Indians, better livelihood and jobs are the essential hope. They now put their hope in a new government and a strongman who they hope can govern with a total new style.