Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the ruling National Democratic alliance (NDA) has come back to power with a greater verdict compared to 2014. The NDA has won over 350 out of 542 Parliamentary seats that went for polls for the 17th Lok Sabha. His party, the BJP, has won over 300 seats, 30 above the magic number needed to form government.
In contrast, main Opposition party, the Congress, could increase its tallies of 2014 polls only by handful of seats (from 44 to 52). The party president Rahul Gandhi lost his seat Amethi, a family bastion, in Uttar Pradesh though won the second seat, Wayanad, from Kerala.
The results affirmed PM Modi’s claim a day after the final phase of polling that his party as well as all alliance partners in the NDA would return with more number seats than in 2014 elections.
The marathon polling exercise was carried out between April 11 and May 19 in 7 phases, while the counting of votes were counted on May 23.
Political pundits list the following reasons for the stunning victory for the BJP-led NDA:
- Decisive leadership and clean image of Narendra Modi
- Welfare schemes and Direct Transfer of cash into beneficiaries’ accounts
- Surgical strike and Balakot airstrike in response to terror attacks
- Improved relations with other countries which helped isolate Pakistan, vis-à-vis terrorism, on the world stage
- Amicable poll pacts with alliance partners stitched by BJP president Amit Shah
- Effective poll strategy by Amith Shah with a focus on seats where the BJP was in the second place in 2014 elections in states like Odisha and West Bengal.
- Abusive campaign against PM Modi by Opposition leaders, particularly Rahul Gandhi (with slogans like Chowkidar chor hai)
- Personal ambitions of regional satraps, which came in the way of stitching a dominant alliance
- Voters’ fear of a ragtag bunch coming to power, leading to political instability
- Modi’s ability to convey the message and strike a chord with people