Indian media analyse Modi impact on BJP win in state polls

Indian supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) wear masks of Gujarat state Chief Minister and the BJP"s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, as they travel in a bus towards the airport to receive him in Mumbai on September 30, 2013.
Image caption Narendra Modi is the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate for PM in 2014 general elections

Media in India are analysing Narendra Modi's impact on the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) impressive performance in key state elections.

Mr Modi, who is the BJP's candidate for PM in the 2014 general elections, campaigned aggressively in state elections to generate what his party has described as the "Modi wave".

The Hindu nationalist party has retained power in the central states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and also won majority of the assembly seats in the northern states of Rajasthan and Delhi.

The BJP president, Rajnath Singh, gave credit to Mr Modi for the wins, but pundits and papers are divided over the real impact of the "Modi wave".

Mr Modi is credited with making the western state of Gujarat economically prosperous as its chief minister, but also faces questions over his controversial past.

He is accused of doing little to stop anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002 which left more than 1,000 dead - an allegation he has always denied.

"For the BJP, these elections have transformed the public perception of Narendra Modi. It is no point claiming that the 'Modi wave' was only evident in one state or two. Mr Modi's campaigning did not damage the BJP in any state," writes senior journalist Bharat Bhushan in the Business Standard.

A report in The Economic Times says "a strong saffron [the colour of the BJP's flag] showing in all four states... will be seen to have boosted the prospects of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi".

But other analysts feel it is too early to credit Mr Modi for the wins because local BJP leaders in the poll-bound states were the "real vote winners".

"The evidence-based answer seems to be that while his prime ministerial candidacy has gained traction and momentum and has significantly strengthened the electoral stock of his party, there is no 'Modi wave' that the BJP and its National Democratic Alliance partners can ride straight to power at the centre," senior journalist N Ram writes in The Hindu.

'A pyrrhic victory'

Meanwhile, newspapers are also reporting that Iran has asked an Indian business delegation to test for HIV before attending an event in Tehran.

Delhi sees the demand as "discriminatory and politically incorrect", and says the incident shows why business ties have failed to take off "despite the best of intentions", reports The Indian Express.

Staying with business news, newspapers have welcomed the concessions India secured before signing a World Trade Organisation agreement last week.

The agreement will protect the country's food security law that aims to provide subsidised food to two thirds of the population.

"The trade agreement signed at the Bali ministerial is great for Indian industry as it seeks to lower trade barriers and speed up the passage of goods through customs," The Asian Age says.

The Times of India also feels that the "Bali package is to India's advantage".

But The Indian Express says "the win at Bali means India is free to expand its inefficient system of subsidies till a fiscal breakdown. A pyrrhic victory, at best".

And finally, India is preparing for a maiden submarine launch of its longest-range ballistic nuclear-capable missile by the end of next month, The New Indian Express says.

The missile, which flies at hypersonic speed and is among the world's best weapons, will "enable India to target China and Pakistan from its waters", the report adds.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites