The election was fought in Modi’s name. The mandate was for Modi Sarkar. The other BJP leaders were not just playing second fiddle, they were deep in the background chorus providing an echo to the Soprano with a booming voice.
The mandate was for growth and change. Forget Barack Obama, this was the campaign serious political analysts should be writing about. An outsider, a pariah, a man with no family background in politics, a man who was not very popular within his own party was elected just because he taught his countrymen to dream again.
A simple dream. Better days. अच्छे दिन. A promise of simple things. Growth, electricity, clean water, no scams, a country on the right path again. People didn’t trust BJP to deliver this. BJP under Advani had lost two elections to a congress that no-one liked. Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister after Nehru to win two full terms because the opposition was ineffective. Modi came to change that. He was opposed tooth and nail. Advani tantrums of those days are legendary. Congress supporters suddenly became Advani fanboys. A man in his 80’s who had failed to reach the PMs post despite multiple opportunities was pushed aside, along with the coterie of similarly old, ineffective, unpopular people. BJP made Modi the PM candidate kicking and screaming, but realising he was the only popular guy left. That would change. Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal, Gadkari, Rijju and many more are getting noticed for their performance. Even old timers like Mrs Swaraj and Venkaiah Naidu are getting renewed respect for their work. No one is trying to sabotage them. As long as they are doing their jobs, they are allowed to be popular. (Remember the congress days when anyone except a Gandhi being popular was seen as a threat? Remember how brutally even Narasimha Rao was sidelined?)
Modi won, and brought change to Delhi. Lutyens Delhi, a cosy mix of khadi, babus, journalists, and self proclaimed intellectuals. Each one massaging each other’s ego, each one lining his own pockets at public expense, and each one protecting the other from attacks. The attacks were political, and ideological, because they were all married to the same dogma: socialism. I don’t know (and don’t care) whether they even believe in it anymore, but it suits them to say they do, because socialism means more “sarkari schemes” more chances of getting rich.
That’s being broken down. A timeline will tell you that there is a huge correlation between “artists” being kicked out of free and illegal government accommodation and the “award wapasi” drama. The drama was used effectively for election hysteria too, leading to Yadav family coming to power in Bihar, a “victory” of socialism over common sense. Babus are being asked to be in offices. They are asked to perform and report on their progress. They are also being asked for ideas. The ones performing are getting the ear of the PM himself. The PMO is running tabs on babus from all ministries. And that is seen as a problem by the old socialists and new.
The PM has popular mandate. It doesn’t work alone, nor does the President in the presidential system. There is a cabinet, of course, but Modi is not the PM because a lot of NDA candidates won. A lot of NDA candidates won because Modi was slated to be the PM.
The people who kept saying there is no Modi wave had to eat their words after the elections. The threats (or promises) of leaving the country if Modi is elected have not been carried out.
The old running class is defeated. Wishing three days of taking oath people started with the कहाँ हैं अच्छे दिन noise. No one expected that things will transform within days. They were just scared to wait for 5 years. They knew, in their gut, that many things will change substantially in 5 years.
This is not a post about the achievements and positive decisions of this government. This is about the positive direction that political climate of Delhi has taken. This government is about a break from the insider politics of the past, both within and outside the BJP. Modi being a “Presidential style leader” is part of it. Poor Rahul Gandhi is at the forefront of criticising it. It’s understandable why he doesn’t understand it. He has always been led to believe that there is a hereditary ruling system in the country. He simply doesn’t understand democratic concepts like a President.