However, there was one key difference between 2014 and 2004: in 2004, the issue was almost exclusively price rise. The NDA Government, through its massive spending on infrastructure, has set off a job boom, which saw the unemployment rate significantly fall. The vote was for the problems of the present. In 2014, the vote was for the future. Not only had the UPA Government failed to do anything about high prices, they created a sense of hopelessness, that it was actually impossible to solve the issue. For better or worse, people did believe that Narendra Modi would improve their future, not just by bringing prices under control but also by creating jobs so that people could afford things as basic as onions.
Not since the first few years since Independence have people put so much hope into their government. Hope was indeed the key instrument on which the BJP's successful campaign ran. What the campaign showed us was that Indians, having already seen the benefits of economic prosperity, want more of it an will not allow any future government to take it away from them. This fact is corroborated by the way the Communists have becoming virtually irrelevant in national politics.
And perhaps, that was also Manmohan Singh's undoing: to raise people's hopes, to show them what they could be and then let their dreams come crashing down.