By Mayank Jain:
“One should always play fairly, if one has the winning cards.”– Oscar Wilde
The results are coming out but the victory has been declared. Narendra Modi led BJP has had a sweeping victory with 272 seats (at the time of publishing), and the National Democratic Alliance, or the NDA at 326. The Congress, however, has had a crushing defeat with only 44 seats (at the time of publishing), and the United Progressive Alliance at 63 seats.
Here is our live blog with all the updates from the beginning of the counting phase.
Narendra Modi is definitely the new Prime Minister of India. While the ones supporting him are rejoicing for his progressive economic and development stand, the ones opposing him are criticizing this for their concern over human rights, free speech and social equality in the country. This is also the first time India will see a Hindu nationalist party form the Government without the support of other parties. The margins of the victory are unprecedented and the reasons for the victory go beyond just the mandate of people seeking a change.
The day has come out to be one of the most decisive in Indian politics’ history. There are reasons for everyone to be interested in what led to this win, if you like Modi or not does not matter.
Regardless of what people say, BJP’s win could be accredited to many factors, one of the biggest being brand Modi.
Below is a look at the factors which made these elections one of the most decisive we have seen so far:
1. The larger than life brand, Narendra Modi: From the beginning of the campaign, the Bhartiya Janta Party left no stone unturned in portraying Narendra Modi as a one-stop solution to all our problems. The glorification of his work in Gujarat, coupled with his focused, constant campaigning about being everything that the Congress could never be – put him at the forefront as the mammoth contesting these elections. Moreover, the brand building started much much earlier than Congress or Aam Aadmi Party could even get a grasp of how to go about it.
2. Lack of strong opposition: While Arvind Kejriwal was probably the strongest opposition that Narendra Modi had, his entire focus throughout the campaign was not on the opposition directly. Congress did too little and too late by not even announcing a front runner and presenting Rahul Gandhi as a silent candidate for India’s top position. The Aam Aadmi Party’s campaigning was probably the only one that deserved a round of applause.
3. Anti-incumbency sentiment: With 10 years of Congress’ led UPA rule that began in 2004 after a convincing win in the elections, came scams, vote bank politics, wide spread corruption, economic turmoil and hundred other things that went wrong with the country. The Congress has been criticized far and wide for all this and there is no need for the narrative now since epitaph of the party has already been written in Saffron. BJP rose to the occasion and did the job well of exemplifying the follies of its opposition while building strengths and consolidating votes in every critical constituency by campaigning overseen by Modi himself.
4. Interesting PR: The public relations team of the BJP and specifically, Narendra Modi deserves a bow for handling the campaign so professionally. The win is as clinical and convincing as it could get in these tumultuous times. Be it social media management with constant tweets from the Prime Ministerial candidate himself or innovative ‘Chai pe Charcha’ campaign, BJP did all the right things to gain this landslide victory.
5. Lack of third front: In this huge wave of mass advertising and campaigning against inefficient incumbents made it virtually impossible for the parties on the sidelines take control of the situation and prevent their seats from going to BJP. Only AIADMK managed to hold its ground while UP, Bihar and even Assam flocked to the party’s promise of change, growth and development.
The elections are over and it is time for the new government to occupy office and deliver the hundreds of promises it has made so far. For the people, it means starting with a blank slate and not letting go of this political fervor that overthrew an inefficient rule. An active democracy of aware citizens is the thing we need right now to make sure the government acts for the people of the country rather than become another case study of anti-people regimes.
What remains to be seen though, is how far the new government goes to ensure people don’t regret their unconditional support to their promises. It’s time to be vigilant, active and on our cognizant best to stop being taken for granted as sheep by a pack of wolves in the jungle.
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