The decisive victory of the BJP in the 2014 Indian general elections came as a surprise to many. Most opinion polls, which had predicted a win for the BJP, had not anticipated the scale of the party's victory. A new Policy Brief examines the election results and the new government in India.
The decisive victory of the BJP in the 2014 Indian general elections came as a surprise to many. Most opinion polls, which had predicted a win for the BJP, had not anticipated the scale of the party's victory. The BJP alone won 282 seats out of 543 seats in the Lok Sabah, the lower house of Parliament. This is the first time in 30 years that a party won a majority on its own; this is also the worst-ever showing by India's grand old party, the Indian National Congress, which won a mere 44 seats, 70 less than its previous all-time low in 1999.
In the new issue of the Asia Policy Brief, Ronojoy Sen, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies and Asia Research Institute in the National University of Singapore, analyzes the election results and examines the challenges for the new government. He points out that much of the credit for the decisive nature of the BJP's victory has to go to India's newly-appointed Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. At the same time, the Congress made several severe mistakes during the election campaign and got punished by the voters for its lacklustre performance in the past years.
With respect to the challenges for the new government Sen argues that probably the biggest test before the new Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to manage the sky-high expectations of those who voted him to power: "Having given Modi a convincing mandate, the Indian voter is going to be demanding. Modi's durability will depend on how quickly he can deliver on the promises that he has made."
In the Asia Policy Briefs renowned experts and authors from the Bertelsmann Stiftung analyze important developments in Asia and their consequences for Germany and Europe. The short briefing papers focus on current events as well as underlying trends in important Asian countries All Asia Policy Brief editions can be downloaded here.