Narendra Modi has run a successful campaign that has reached out broadly across India. Despite this, he has managed to maintain a solid local support base in the state of Gujurat, where he previously served as Chief Minister. He was so confident in his reputation that he actively chose not to campaign there, however his commitment to Gujarat was evident in his choice to make his first speech there after the election, and in his extravagant decision to fly back home to Gujarat every day to recharge during his campaign.
While Orissa, Bengal, Tamil Naidu and Tilangana, (the newly carved out 29th state of India) remain in the hands of local parties, the BJP bagged all 26 seats in Gujarat, all 25 seats in Rajasthan, and all 7 in New Delhi. It was expected that they would prevail in this election, as the anti-incumbency factor coupled with unbelievable revelations of corruption had set a wave in motion. It was not expected, however, that there would be such a landslide, as no political party has had a clear majority of this nature in more than three decades. This begs the question: Is this the end of collation politics? The previously incumbent Congress party has failed even to manage a 10% standing, which means they cannot claim to be the opposition party. The shock result can partially be attributed to one hundred and forty million new voters, who helped increase the BJP’s majority.
Many will debate questions such as ‘how has the BJP gone from 2 seats in the Lok Sabha in 1984 to 282 seats in 2014?’, but the most important questions for us to ask are around whether the party will live up to its rhetoric. Will they be able to generate the jobs that they have promised, and fulfil the aspirations of the youth? Will they manage their post-election image as well as they managed their poll persona? Will they care for the environment and implement economic reforms with infrastructural developments? On a more trivial front, how will the world react to our Hindi speaking Prime Minister? In India, the atmosphere is euphoric, and political sentiment is upbeat. In my view, it will work out, and it is likely that India will continue to make headlines and forge ahead globally.