Massive mandate raises hope for India

Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) recorded its best performance ever, by winning an absolute majority, winning 282 seats in the 16th Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), elections to which were held from April 7 to May 12, 2014.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) of which the BJP was the main constituent won 336 seats out of the 543 total electoral seats, with BJP alone winning 282 seats.

It was the first time since the 1984 elections that a single party had won a majority on its own. NDA Leader Narendra Modi will be the next (14th) Prime Minister of India.

For the outgoing government of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) it was an electoral setback of monumental proportions. The Congress Party recorded its worst performance ever by winning just 44 seats. It was a massive defeat. The Party had won 114 seats in the general elections held in 1999.

Visionary campaign

The NDA started its electoral campaign early this year and announced Mr Modi (then Gujarat Chief Minister) will be its candidate for Prime Minister.

The Alliance ran a spirited and well-organised campaign, highlighting the shortcomings of the UPA Government, contrasting with its own growth and development agenda.

What made its task easier was public antipathy towards UPA, which ran out of steam in its second (five-year) term. The Government was mired in a series of corruption allegations and scams, suffered from policy paralysis and was clearly disconnected from the people.

The NDA presented a vision and hope for the future, taking into account the aspirations of today’s India. It recognised that the Indian polity was maturing and well versed with the happenings around the world.

The BJP ran its campaign like a well-oiled machine. All forms of media, including the social websites were effectively utilised to claim that the NDA will run an efficient Government. It sent a record 150 million emails and text messages primarily to first-time voters throughout the country.

Rebooting economy

Economic growth had stalled under the UPA regime and investor confidence was dwindling.

The NDA promised to reboot the engines of economic growth, leading to more jobs and a better standard of living for the masses.

Mr Modi presented himself as an able and decisive leader, with a stellar record as three-term Chief Minister. The object of this exercise was to turn the polls into a Presidential style of election, pitching a strong leader against the inexperienced Rahul Gandhi of the Indian National Congress Party.

The Congress was dithering about its Prime Ministerial nominee. Strong anti-incumbency against UPA and a viable alternative in Mr Modi saw a groundswell of support for the alliance, which translated into an overwhelming majority for the NDA.

AAP disappoints

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which took the Indian political landscape by storm after coming to power in the state of Delhi last year, put up a disappointing performance. It contested more than 400 seats but won only four.

The historic mandate has given Mr Modi a free hand to implement his vision for India. He will not be bogged down by compulsions of coalition partners. People visualise in him and his Party the hope of a bright future with inclusive growth for all.

The electorate has placed faith on him; now it is his turn to return the compliment.

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