First, Siddharth Varadarajan over at his website (image from Xinhua):
Mr Modi’s remarkable election campaign may have been fuelled by unprecedented sums of money and magnified by the logic of the first-past-the-post system — which converted a 12 percentage point difference in vote share with the Congress into a 600 per cent difference in seats – but it has helped him banish, for all intents and purposes, the lingering shadows of a darker past.
Troubling questions about his record that were met earlier with menacing silence or anger, but never answers, can no longer be asked. With the absolute majority Mr Modi has now delivered for the BJP, a new ledger of accounts has been opened. Any audit of his record will henceforth be on his own terms.
Narendra Damodar Modi asked the electorate for 272+ seats and they have given it to him. He asked voters for a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ – an India free of the Congress – and they have handed it to him. So reviled was the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and so terrible its record of governance that the party has justifiably suffered the worst defeat in its 129-year history.
The ‘Modi Wave’ left nearly 60 per cent of the electorate cold and failed to make a major dent in those states where regional parties still enjoy a high degree of credibility with voters like Tamil Nadu, Odisha and West Bengal but it has wrecked the Congress everywhere.
More here. Vijay Prashad in The BRICS Post:
For the first time since 1984 a single party will have a majority in the Indian parliament. That year, the Congress Party led by Rajiv Gandhi secured 414 seats (out of the 533 seats in the Lok Sabha, the parliament). Mr. Gandhi’s mother, Indira, had been assassinated not long before the election, and the Congress won decisively on a massive sympathy wave. It did not matter to the electorate that the Congress had engineered an anti-Sikh pogrom that resulted in the death of 3000 Sikhs in two days. The 1984 election was the Congress’ largest victory yet.
In the 1984 election, the Hindu Right’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won only 2 seats. This year, the tide has turned. The BJP is projected to win a large majority, not near 414 but as decisive. It did not stop the Indian voters that the BJP leader, Narendra Modi, is accused of having a hand in an anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002. The Congress, led by Mr. Gandhi’s son, Rahul, has posted its lowest ever total. It will limp into second place.
India will now have a powerful Hindu Right government with a very weak opposition. It is the worst of all worlds.
To come to power, the BJP wiped out several major political parties across northern India – the major parties of Uttar Pradesh (BSP, SP) and of western India (including the NCP). It also decimated the Congress. How did the BJP manage this feat?