One question for BJP, many questions for Congress

What is the big national picture presented by the elections of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh? Both were BJP-governed states governed by a lightweight CM, facing considerable local headwinds of popular discontent. In Gujarat, BJP has returned with a historic mandate whereas in Himachal it has been swept from office. The clearest lens to explain these results is provided by the role of the personality of Narendra Modi at the heart of the country’s BJP-dominant system. Himachal and Gujarat illuminate the twin polarities of this role.

In Gujarat, despite having two alternatives to choose from, a majority of Gujaratis have voted for a BJP that had to replace its CM (along with the whole cabinet) a little more than a year ago. They were helped along by a divided opposition but the magnitude of the victory can only be attributed to one man: PM Modi.

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Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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