ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Modi Wave and Congress Debacle

India's 2014 Elections: A Modi-led BJP Sweep edited by Paul Wallace, New Delhi: Sage, 2015; pp xx+ 427, Rs 1,250.

The book, India’s 2014 Elections: A Modi-led BJP Sweep, edited by Paul Wallace furnishes a holistic overview of the 16th Lok Sabha elections and looks into the varied factors that catapulted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into power, while also attempting to examine the reasons behind the decline of the grand old Congress Party. It emphasises the end of coalition politics, with a single party coming into power with a clear majority.

The editor points out three major factors for the BJP’s massive win over the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA): the onion crisis, which was one of the factors responsible for high inflation, slowing growth and rising food prices; Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in 2011, which united the country against corruption and provided the voters an alternative to the Congress Party and its allies; and lastly the presidential-style campaign of Narendra Modi. The BJP’s unexpected victory is credited to Modi’s personality, with some terming the Modi wave a “TsuNaMo.” Wallace compares Modi’s plebiscitary election to Indira Gandhi’s slogan “a government that works” that resulted in her landslide victory in 1980 (p 10).

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