The 2014 general election in India was an unprecedented clash between the people of India and those who were trying to influence their decisions. The world watched a democracy where opportunistic alliances, agendas and politics, at the local, national and international level tried to influence the voters’ decisions. Congress party had previously ruled India for many years by dividing the minority and majority of India in the name of secularism, but eventually the old technique lost their edge. As a matter of fact, Congress part went overboard pleasing minorities in such a way that a majority of the voters in India began to see it as an anti-majority party. The regional parties, such as SP, BSP, in Uttar Pradesh RJD and recently JDU in Bihar came up with a new prescription with an additional ingredient of caste-based politics into an old and expired secularism formula. Unable to win an absolute majority in the 2004 general election, Congress party formed a coalition government for two terms with the help of regional parties.
During the ten-year period that the now-defunct coalition government existed in New Delhi, the people of Gujarat were enjoying progress, under a stable and one party government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In return, the people of Gujarat rewarded the BJP government again and again by giving them an absolute majority. The people of Gujarat learned their lessons of vote bank politics and had already rejected the Congress party in the 1995 elections.
In 1995 the BJP won an absolute majority, 121 out of 182 seats, in the Gujarat state assembly election and regional parties no longer existed. Progress and good governance was the motto of the Gujarat government and the elimination of corruption and vote bank politics was their main concern. Of course, it took more than a decade for the Gujarat government to realize these goals, but now Gujaratis are enjoying relative peace and prosperity.
The recent general election seemed to replicate what happened in Gujarat some 20 years ago. The BJP has an absolute majority. Most regional parties did not survive in this election except in the states of Odisa, Tailnadu and West Bengal. Indians realize that if they want a functioning government and Gujarat style progress they must reject coalition governments.
Indian voters gave the BJP a clear mandate and five years to work towards progress. At the same time, the BJP must produce results within the next five years or Congress will have another go at running New Delhi. The BJP government has set an extremely high bar by promising many things to the people of India. This election created a “social contract” between the people and the new BJP government. If BJP delivers what it has promised, Congress may remain out of power for many years to come. Hopefully the new BJP government realizes that it is involved in a high voltage race against time, because the next election will be here soon. The 2019 general election will be a landmark election for India.