India’s Watershed Vote: Behind Modi’s Victory

Issue Date October 2014
Volume 25
Issue 4
Page Numbers 20-33
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This article analyzes the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in India’s 2014 election. It focuses on possible reasons for the pro-BJP swing, looking at turnout, regional concentration of BJP votes, voting patterns of key social segments, the Modi factor, and the campaign, against the backdrop of a slowing economy, inflation, and corruption. It concludes that the BJP swing was not so much a vote for Hindu nationalism as for the promise of effective leadership for growth and jobs that struck a chord with the electorate’s rising expectations, and that it is too early to pronounce a fundamental shift of party system.

About the Author

Eswaran Sridharan is academic director and chief executive of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India in New Delhi. He is editor most recently of Coalition Politics in India: Selected Issues at the Centre and in the States (2014).

View all work by Eswaran Sridharan