Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fortune Favors the Brave

With Jammu & Kashmir remaining a question mark due to the devastating floods, the elections for 2014 are probably over and it can be safely said that it has been the most epoch-defining election season that India has had since Indira Gandhi won her first election. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, once relegated to political wilderness by the BJP itself and then spending decades heading Gujarat, have now emerged as truly national leaders, putting their stamp on a multitude of state elections around the country.

The defining feature of the new BJP that puts it in sharp contrast to its former self and the Congress party is its ability and willingness to take risks. Right from putting up Narendra Modi as its candidate for PM despite the objections of key allies like Nitish Kumar to fighting in Haryana without a CM candidate, the duo have shown a willingness to take risk in exchange for huge political profits. With the loss of Haryana and Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh/Telangana before that, the Congress is cash-strapped like never before, with only Karnataka and Kerala left as its large states. The Himalayan states, which essentially exist out of a federal subsidy, are not going to contribute anything. It might be the truly Gujarati-way of achieving a Congress-mukt Bharat.

Elections aside, the BJP has also seen a distinct rightward shift in economics. Although off to a slow start because of Arun Jaitley's dithering, Modi's government has initiated important economic reforms, including the Make in India mission, the clean-up of the Railways and labor reforms. If successful even by a partial measure, these will be enough to secure Modi a second government in 2019. As for the Congress, its inability to cast off the decaying Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and Rahul Gandhi's abject failure as a mass leader will only see it fall further in the political scales. Already, it is not much more than a regional party. A few more years and it may not be even that. 

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