Why Modi’s favorite choice of voters

After the 2014 general elections, the results of the general elections of the 17th Lok Sabha gave the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) another complete majority. While most people expected that the BJP would come back to power, the victory margin in many seats surprised many. However, these elections were not about the election of the new government only. In the verdict given on May 23, 2019, there is a lesson for the BJP as well as the Opposition.

Although it is difficult to analyze the various factors contributing to BJP’s victory, one of the main factors will be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal reliability. The opposition has certainly not a trusted face that Modi can take. The fact that BJP successfully carried out the story of national security is beyond doubt.

However, considering the track record of BJP in assembly elections, the election results are shocking. In all the assembly elections that took place till May 2019, the BJP succeeded in winning the states ruled by opposition parties, but failed to retain the BJP-ruled states except Gujarat and Goa. In both of these states where he managed to retain his state governments, he formed a small majority government. Clearly, at the state level, BJP has been more successful in eliminating opposition governments than retaining power. However, in the Lok Sabha, it won not only as a Chief, but has also been successful in increasing the number of votes and seats.

The last four years have been difficult even as far as the economy is concerned. Although political consequences of monetization and the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) may be suspected, but there is a consensus that they had a negative impact on the economy, although for the short term. However, one of the most serious problems is the crisis of jobs and the crisis in agriculture, both of which have played on the road as opposed to large scale. Since there is no good growth in exports and actual wages have been stuck for years, there is also consensus that the economy has demonstrated far below its capacity. Although most of these effects were serious in the rural areas, the BJP has performed very well in rural India, which includes states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, where the agricultural crisis was at its peak. In some of these areas, the BJP lost the by-elections and the assembly elections. While there is no concrete evidence to dramatically improve the situation, BJP’s victory also raises important questions on the expectations of the voters from the state and central government. Though the BJP has not made concrete benefits on all these, the message is clear that Modi-led BJP is the favorite choice of voters to fulfill these promises.

The third message is with the opposition, which has formally formed alliances in some states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In both of these states, the opposition demonstrated far below expectations, reducing any profit from the alliance. Part of the reason seems to be the nature of the coalition, which was dependent on bringing caste groups together. Most of these regional parties had lost legitimacy anyway, the dynasties benefited unevenly with the increase in the strength of the predecessor backward castes. However, it also appears that caste-based structures have reached a limit as far as the vision of empowerment of caste groups is concerned. While caste-based reservations on one side remain important for the political and social claims of these castes, among the voters, the youth are also looking for an agenda which is beyond reservation. It is here that the regional parties have failed to offer any reliable option.


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