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.