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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

Narendra Modi: The man who recast the story of Indian politics

htlsspeakersbio Updated: Dec 05, 2019 06:19 IST

Hindustan Times
         

He has done what no Indian political figure achieved for close to five decades. By leading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a second consecutive victory in the Lok Sabha elections, with an absolute majority of its own, and numbers higher than in 2014, Modi redefined the rules of Indian politics. He has ushered in what most observers now see as an era of political and ideological hegemony of the BJP.

But more than the party, there is little doubt that the 2019 mandate was a mandate for the man himself, and his leadership. If, five years ago, Modi capitalised on anti incumbency and delivered a message of hope, this time around, he campaigned on his governance record and a promise to meet aspirations of citizens. His tough nationalist platform, his government’s success in providing basic amenities — from gas cylinders to rural housing, from toilets to electricity — to the remotest villages, and his image of integrity is widely seen as catapulting Modi as PM again in what was truly a presidential style election.

In his second term, Modi has already delivered on key party promises such as abrogation of Article 370. He has decided to make water conservation a key area of focus and continue with his focus on cleanliness. But he also faces challenges — an uncertain international environment, the situation in Kashmir, and the economic slowdown. How Modi shapes the state and deals with social faultlines in the coming years will shape the future of India.