IIn India, supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party celebrated success in a series of state elections. They set off fireworks, handed out sweets and danced in the streets on the weekend after the votes were counted. With the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) success in elections in three of the five states where people voted in November, Modi is heading towards his third term in office after national elections next year. Only in one state, Telangana in southern India, has the Congress Party, which shaped the country’s politics for decades, been able to assert itself as the strongest force against the regional parties that previously ruled there.
According to Monday’s tally, in elections in Mizoram state, the mandate to form a government was given to a regional party that also has roots there. The three states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are now dominated by the BJP. The results show that the people “strongly support the policies of good governance and development” supported by the party, Modi said at BJP headquarters.
Modi’s victory is difficult to stop
As in previous regional elections, the Prime Minister dominated the election campaign. He himself appeared at about two dozen events. There was a lot of talk about a “Modi miracle” in Indian newspaper commentaries on Monday. According to analysts, Modi’s victory in the 2024 parliamentary elections is difficult to stop.
For the opposition, this result was extraordinary. After the Congress Party’s landslide victory in May in Karnataka, southern India, the party hopes to break the BJP’s dominance. With Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress party for the first time appointed a party leader who did not belong to the traditionally dominant Nehru-Gandhi clan.
Former party leader Rahul Gandhi, grandson of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, raised his profile with widely publicized rallies across India. Under the acronym INDIA, the Congress Party has formed a new opposition alliance with a number of other parties. Now he “humbly” accepts the voters’ decision, former party leader Rahul Gandhi said after the votes were counted.
Six months before the election, the country appears divided along invisible borders. Modi’s BJP dominates the Hindu heartland of northern India, where Hindi is spoken. In the south, with its own language and culture, the BJP is not currently in power in any state. The BJP, with its powerful election campaign machine, can no longer score points solely with its identity politics aimed at the Hindu majority. In the recent elections, the party also moved into areas traditionally occupied by the Congress Party. Among other things, this agreement promises more social programs and is aimed more at women, the younger generation and traditional tribal communities.
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