National

PRIME MINISTER MODI

Riding a nationwide wave created substantially by his campaign, Narendra Modi won an unprecedented victory for the BJP, matched in its intensity and sweep only by the crushing defeat of the Congress in the 16th general elections.

The BJP returns to power at the Centre after 10 years. Allies will also be part of the government, though the BJP is not dependent on any for numbers.

“Good days are ahead,” tweeted Mr. Modi as soon as trends became clear, reiterating the words of his campaign jingle 'Acche din aanewale hain' that had inspired hope among people and created a hype around his persona.

The BJP won a simple majority for the first time, only the second time a non-Congress party has done so. The BJP also became the first party since 1984 to get a majority on its own.

In its worst performance, the Congress won less than one third of its 1977 tally of 154, when a massive anti-Congress wave swept India after the Emergency.

The BJP consolidated its hold in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, leaving only a handful of seats to its opponents. It also engineered a decisive turnaround in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, made inroads into Assam and West Bengal, won the southern most seat in India, Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, and came a close second in nearby Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

The Congress failed to hold ground in any state except Kerala, where its alliance won a majority of the seats, and Karnataka.

In its unrivalled march, the BJP managed to break barriers of caste, decimating parties such as the BSP, SP and the RJD in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

While the Left fell to its lowest tally in history, three regional parties outside the BJP alliance, the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha, held their ground.

With most senior leaders of the Congress routed, and no regional heavyweight other than Mulayam Singh in the new Lok Sabha, the opposition appears weak against the overwhelming numbers of the BJP.

The BJP had put its hardcore Hindutva agenda on the backburner when it began alliance building in 1996, but with absolute numbers on its side, the demand from within to bring these up may rise. But Mr Modi sought to reassure the country, stating that he would “take the entire 125 crore people of India along.”

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 9:09:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/PRIME-MINISTER-MODI/article11639000.ece

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