Assembly election results 2023: What foreign media said about PM Modi as BJP wins MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh
Assembly election results 2023: BJP retained power in MP, and wrested control of state legislatures from Congress in both Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
As the Bharatiya Janata Party's saffron Tsunami swept the Hindi heartland on Sunday, the counting day for four states that polled for their assemblies in November, with stunning victories in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, foreign media saw the results as an indication of voters' mood ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eyeing a third consecutive term.
The New York Times reported that with the triumphs in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the BJP expanded its dominance of a key region ahead of general elections.
The results were another blow to the “dwindling fortunes of the main opposition party, the Indian National Congress,” NYT reported. Citing political analyst Arati Jerath, the report said, “This is the B.J.P.’s big advantage in 2024".
Referring to the Ram temple, the NYT report claimed that “Mr. Modi already has a big plan for further galvanizing his base of support: the inauguration in January of a massive Hindu temple in Ayodhya, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh…”
“Mr. Modi, projecting himself as an ambitious champion of development as well as Hindu interests, also has a strong pull with voters across the country. His government has used the resources of the top-heavy and unequal Indian economy for well-targeted welfare schemes, handed out often in his name. In states where local B.J.P. leaders were struggling in the elections, it was Mr. Modi’s face on the posters; the handouts for voters were presented as ‘Modi’s guarantee’,” it said.
Bloomberg reported that while the assembly polls aren’t a proxy for 2024’s general elections, the fact that the opposition lost fairly comprehensively will buoy the ruling party and Modi ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress party under Rahul Gandhi had tried to highlight issues like joblessness and caste discrimination in the hope it would resonate nationally in a few month’s time, it reported.
“Prime Minister Modi remains exceptionally popular,” Shumita Deveshwar, chief India economist at GlobalData.TS Lombard, was quoted as saying. The state polls show “the mood of the nation lies in bringing him back to power for a third consecutive term,” she said.
A weaker performance by the BJP may have provided the opposition with some momentum, “but the outcome now signals that Modi’s return to power is inevitable,” Bloomberg quoted Deveshwar.
News agency Reuters said Modi remains widely popular after a decade in power and surveys suggest he will win again next year. However, a 28-party opposition alliance (INDIA) led by the Congress has come together to jointly fight the BJP, posing a renewed challenge. But the alliance did not feature in the state polls due to internal rivalries and it was a direct contest between BJP and Congress.
Another foreign news agency AFP reported the victories in the three states further boosted the BJP and Modi, who is already the favourite to win his third consecutive term in office next year.
“The results are seen as yet another setback for the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty scion Rahul Gandhi, 53, who led the opposition centre-left Indian National Congress party's aggressive and personal campaign directly targeting Modi,” it added.
Financial Times, citing political scientists, reported there is limited evidence of a correlation between state and national results. However, the result leaves Congress looking weakened at a crucial time for the party, which dominated Indian politics for decades until Modi’s ascent to the premiership in 2014.
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