Verdict 2017: The Modi Phenomenon

RSTV Bureau

A victory for BJP in Gujarat for a record 6th time, has defied all forces of anti-incumbency. Yes, the BJP will retain power in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state for the 23rd year in a row.

With both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh in BJP’s kitty, it has now become clear that the Modi phenomenon continues to work.

As the results trickled in on Friday, chants of ‘Hu Chhu Vikas’ (I am for development) became louder on the streets of Gujarat. So, what turned the tide in favour of the BJP in Gujarat? Was it Modi’s charisma and unmatched style of campaigning, something that political pundits call the ‘Modi Magic’; or was it the party’s focus on ‘vikas’?

Experts say retaining the state for the sixth time, was an uphill task for both BJP and Prime Minister Modi, and that was evident since the beginning of campaign. Ahead of polling in Gujarat, the Prime Minister had said that he was ready to pay a political price for his daring initiatives like demonetisation and the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax. The fact that the leader addressed 34 rallies across 182 assembly seats, made many experts say that he was on jittery ground.

A victory in both Gujarat and Haryana, has ensured that the BJP is now in power, either on its on or with allies, in 19 states out of 29 states in the country. Of these, 12 have been won with the Prime Minister leading the party’s campaign.

Thus, as the Modi juggernaut rolls ahead at full speed , the next question is – Will the general elections due in 2019 go the same way?