As expected, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) romped him with a thumping majority – the first ever by a non-Congress Party. This would mean that the BJP could actually run the government of India without any support from its coalition of parties, which in itself, is great news.
The victory was led by Mr Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister-designate from the BJP. He delivered what sometimes appears to be an almost impossible majority win for his party. He used several successful campaign techniques and was present all over the country unlike his sulking competition from the Congress Party.
I am not for or against Mr Modi, but I am all for change – a positive change for the world’s largest democracy, which has been unfortunately beholden to the Congress Party and the Nehru family. The Congress Party developed a system of rural handouts which kept the rural voters happy for so long, but missed out on the mobile and social media revolution which changed the mindset of the rural population.
The country is slowly changing over from a culture of entitlement and handouts, to one which is driven by aspirations for material wealth generation – in a sense, a Capitalistic mindset. Congress seems to have completely missed it.
Mr Modi however, capitalized on this change in mindset successfully.
Of course, now his problem will be singular – how is he and BJP going to deliver on the promises they made ? How are they going to deliver an efficient, corruption-free and development-oriented government ?
That is going to be very hard, given the entrenched bureaucracy in Delhi, though Mr Modi is famously dismissive of bureaucratic delays and “babus” – the nickname for slow-moving bureaucrats, who should be sweating in their pants now.
Let us see how things move in the weeks and months to come. It is not going to be easy task to meet the peoples’ overwhelming expectations, and I am sure Mr Modi knows it. He also knows that any more corruption scandals in his government will be his undoing. People have increasingly grown intolerant of corruption and persistent inflation.
Mr Modi has to set out urgently to fix the weak economy, and up the GDP growth rate from its current 4.5% to somewhere in the region of 8%. He needs the counsel of the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to manage interest rates without choking growth. He needs to keep his hungry legislators in line and dish out ministerships to only the most deserving candidates. He also needs to adopt a hands-free approach to CBI (the Central Bureau of Investigation) which unsuccessfully tried to prosecute him in the past. He has to bring culprits to book without fear or favour. He needs to respect the writ of the Supreme Court of India.
No mean task !!!
All the very best to Mr Modi in this unenviable endeavour.
18th May 2014