Rajat Sharma

Election results: How Modi changed India’s political narrative

rajat-sir The remarkable victories of BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa have once again established Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s solid leadership credentials, his rising popularity graph and administrative competence. This is Modi’s fourth consecutive electoral win in UP, which, in itself, is nothing short of a miracle. Simultaneously, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s spectacular win has not only established him as the greatest leader of UP in recent times, but has also underlined BJP’s domination in national politics.

Thursday’s election results have broken several myths. There were sceptics who were expecting Modi’s popularity curve to take a dive, there were naysayers who expected Modi’s power to diminish due to price rise and unemployment after the Covid pandemic. But all of them were proved wrong. Modi has emerged stronger and more popular than before.

Those people in Uttar Pradesh who were expecting small-time ‘kisan’ leaders to defeat Yogi at the hustings, were also proved wrong. There were people, who after watching huge crowds of youths attending Akhilesh Yadav’s rallies and road shows had predicted Yogi’s exit, but they have now been silenced. Those who had expected that the formidable caste combination of Akhilesh-led alliance would crush Yogi’s hopes, were also proved wrong. Those who were dreaming of coming to power riding on dynastic and appeasement politics, had to bite the dust. Those caste leaders who used to claim that any alliance they join always comes to power, could not save their own seats.

In a nutshell, Modi has demolished dynastic, appeasement and caste based politics. The results clearly show that people have voted for nationalism, good governance and public welfare policies. These are signs of major changes that are going to take place in national politics, in the years to come.

The facts are there for all to see and analyse. In UP alone, 2.61 crore toilets were built, 43.5 lakh homes were built for the poor with government assistance, electricity connections were given to 1.43 crore homes of poor people, 10 crore poor were given medical insurance cover, and 15 crore poor people were provided free ration during the pandemic.

Thursday’s assembly poll results clearly indicate how Modi has changed the political lexicon in India during seven years of his rule. Earlier, political parties used to give favours to caste leaders to get votes, parties used to patronize local mafia and contractors to corner votes with the help of muscle power, there were many who assumed that dynastic politics will ensure electoral win.

Modi has changed this narrative and has completely demolished these myths. Modi ensured that direct benefit transfer to the poor for toilets, housing, electricity, health and ration, will, from now on, ensure electoral win. This change in Indian politics is bound to enhance the loyalty base of Modi, and since experts all over the world were also keenly watching the results, it will enhance Modi’s popularity on the world stage too.

The UP election result has clearly established Yogi Adityanath’s credentials as a national level leader. The election was fought in Yogi’s name and his work during the five years. Before the elections, when Modi put his arm around Yogi’s shoulder, a clear message was sent to the people of UP that Yogi has proved his capability in the eyes of the PM.

During the entire election campaign in UP, Modi praised Yogi effusively in his speeches. I have never heard Modi praising any of his parry’s chief ministers in such superlative terms. Modi lent full backing and support to Yogi, which the latter deserved.

On his part, Yogi created a persona that projected him as an honest and sincere leader, who toiled tirelessly for five years, showed to the world how a government can ruthlessly deal with criminals and mafia leaders, who came out with fresh ideas about governance, and ran a government machinery that refused to grant undue favours to particular caste or community.

All these attributes of Yogi Adityanath fitted well within the narrative set by Modi for the elections. This made him a leader dear to Modi. But a leader becomes great, when people accept the individual to be so. Running a government in India’s most populous state for five years, and then returning to power with a clear majority, has made Yogi a great leader. The people of UP have high hopes from Yogi, and he has to repay this debt by fulfilling those aspirations in the next five years.


Thursday’s election results have finally demolished the myth about dynastic politics, both in UP and Punjab. The days of dynastic politics now seem to be over. The common voter will now vote not in the name of leader’s family, but will vote on the basis of his performance. The results have given a rude jolt to Gandhi-Nehru family at the Centre, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s and Ajit Singh’s families in UP and Badal family in Punjab.

The Congress failed to win in any of the five states that went to polls this time. It was indeed a disastrous electoral performance for the Grand Old Party. Despite Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking charge of the party in UP, the party’s vote share has dwindled to less than half. Congress could manage to win only two seats, and its vote share has come down to 2.3 per cent. The party got, in all, 21,51,234 votes, even less than Jayant Chaudhary’s Rashtrya Lok Dal at 2.85 per cent (26,30,168 votes).

Congress party’s vote share in Punjab declined from 38.5 pc to 23.3 per cent in five years. From being a ruling party, it now has only 18 MLAs in Punjab, compared to 92 seats won by AAP. Five years ago, Congress was the single largest party in Goa and Manipur, not it is a distant second, with declining vote share. Parties like Goa Forward Party, who were allies of Congress, also suffered. Goa Forward Party had 3 seats five years ago, but now it has dwindled to one.

Congress governments failing to get re-elected has now become a consistent trend. Except in Assam in 2011, no Congress government could get re-elected in any big state.

It was Rahul Gandhi’s decision to remove Capt. Amarinder Singh as CM in Punjab and impose Channi as CM. Channi lost from both the seats that he contested. Rahul made Navjot Singh Sidhu as state party chief, but Sidhu also lost. Similarly, in Uttarakhand, both the party and its chief ministerial candidate Harish Rawat lost.

Congress leaders have said they will do ‘atma-manthan’ (self-introspection). But till how long will they continue this ‘atma-manthan’? They have been doing this for the last seven years. Congress must realize that the AAP has already filled up its space in Delhi and Punjab. In Goa, AAP got 7 per cent votes and in Uttarakhand it got 3.5 pc votes. In both these states, Kejriwal’s party caused big losses to the Congress. In UP, RLD got more votes than Priyanka’s Congress, and Apna Dal got six times more seats than Congress.

Congress should do chinta instead of atm-chintan. The sooner, the better. The Congress is still a national party, and it has an identity of its own. If the party continues to lose, it will be very difficult to stand up and regain its lost space. I wanted to write about Yadav and Badal families too, but am avoiding it due to space constraints.

There are several families in Indian politics, who consider states as their fiefdoms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been consistently raising his voice against dynastic politics. He initiated his move against dynastic politics, first inside his own party BJP, then made it an issue during election campaigns. The results of five assembly elections clearly show that dynastic politics seems to be coming to an end in India.

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