Elated over the BJP’s spectacular victory in the general elections, outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan Thursday said it was for the first time in the country that elections were fought successfully on the issue of nationalism.

The eight-time MP from Indore said Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck a chord with the common people with his narrative woven around nationalism.

The BJP has retained Indore, a traditional bastion of the party, with its nominee Shankar Lalwani defeating Congress’s Pankaj Sanghvi by a staggering margin of 5,47,754 votes.

Ms Mahajan, 76, who has represented Indore in the Lok Sabha for eight times, had bowed out of the contest this time.

Shankar Lalwani broke the record set by Mahajan in 2014 when she had won the seat with a margin of 4,66,901 votes.

“This is for the first time in India that nationalism was put first in general elections. “Bhartiyta” (Indianness) and nationalism were the two biggest issues in the elections,” Ms Mahajan told PTI.

She said the Prime Minister’s talks on nationalism struck a chord with the common people and helped the BJP post an overwhelming

Sumitra Mahajan said voters have realised that the Modi government acts decisively against terrorism.

“People have understood which government puts fear in the heart of terrorists and kills them by entering in their den,” she said.

The veteran MP said the BJP’s landslide victory has reminded her of Deendayal Upadhyaya, Bharatiya Jana Sangh co-founder, and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who always thought of well-being of the nation.

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Responding to a query on the electoral outcome, she said the Opposition should work to fulfil expectations and wishes of the common people.