This is the biggest ever win posted by any party after the landslide victory Congress achieved on the strength of the “sympathy wave” generated by Indira Gandhi’s assassination. So far, the only non-Congress formation to have got a majority was Janata Party way back in 1977 but it was a combination of a few parties. BJP’s victory in 2014 marked the first instance where a party other than Congress has got past the majority mark on its own steam.
BJP’s stunning breakthroughs, despite organisational weakness and geographical limits, in states like Haryana, Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu speak of the strength of the Modi “wave” and provide an opportunity for future consolidation.
As a persona, Modi represents many firsts. He is the first prime minister to be born in independent India. He is also the first “backward” to have sailed into the country’s top political office. He is the first leader from a state who has captured power at the Centre by dint of his sheer personal appeal.
Two Lok Sabha defeats had sparked factionalism and leadership crisis in BJP, pushing it to the brink of irrelevance till Narendra Modi turned things around after being appointed the party’s campaign head in last year. He lifted the spirits of the cadre by pulling off spectacular rallies. By blending development and growth with the saffron ideology, he won over the middle class and youth.
Given this backdrop, Narendra Modi’s feat in taking the party to its highest ever LS tally and wresting an absolute majority scripts the story of a unprecedented rescue act in Indian politics. As a leader, Modi has hunted for strategies who believes in both delegation as well as micro-management when necessary. Modi is expected to make the economy, more specifically employment generation, an urgent focus of his government.
A significant jump in agricultural productivity has been an important factor behind the success of the “Gujarat Model” which he exploited incisively in the polls. He would like to replicate the success, particularly along the Ganga. It would also help BJP strengthen its grip over states like UP and Bihar.
Modi is too astute a politician not to realize the importance of welfare in a country where poverty is still rampant. While he believes growth is an antidote for poverty, Modi may not dismantle programmes which are already there in place but use it to create rural assets.
On the issue of dealing with minorities, Modi government can be expected to stress developmental initiatives that can deliver the benefits while steering clear of affirmative action.
Lot of things are expected from Modi with the 14 crores first time voters showing solidarity with BJP, crossing the boundary of caste and creed, community and religion with a hope of seeing new India shining. Infrastructure projects and agricultural productivity are likely to get a push as he seeks to replicate the Gujarat model nationally. Narendra Modi’s ascent to prime minister post marks many things – a desire for effective governance and decisive handling of the economy, creation of jobs, and a move away from the politics of doles to growth.