Does Modi need to change himself after the results of the Lok Sabha elections? Understand the whole story here

Ananya Shroff
6 Min Read

New Delhi: The results of the Lok Sabha elections have been announced. In this election, BJP has not been able to get a majority on its own. However, the NDA alliance has got a majority. But Modi and BJP's slogan of crossing 400 has proved ineffective. Everyone is surprised to see the results of the Lok Sabha elections. After the results, some analysts say that Modi needs to change himself.

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Two big things came to light in the elections

Two things have emerged in the elections of the last few years that have shaped the opinion of experts about Indian elections. First, which has been proved at regular intervals since the historic election of 1977, is that the term 'safe seat' in India is a misnomer. Second, which has also been proved for many decades, is that the accuracy of opinion polls is questionable. In this election, exit polls have also joined this list of uncertainties.

Did the slogan of crossing 400 become the reason?

It is one thing for the BJP leadership to prematurely declare that it will breach the 400-seat mark in the Lok Sabha, a feat that has been achieved only once before, in 1984, and that too under extraordinary circumstances. However, it is another thing to speculate on how voters will view the prospect of a landslide majority after two terms.

Opinion polls mislead

The ruling party may have been misled by opinion polls that projected a single candidate in the presidential election. Market expectations may have been shaped by the optimism of exit polls that projected a pan-India wave for Modi. Whatever the reality, it was a dark day for the investor class, and a grim reality check for BJP workers who had stepped out in a celebratory mood in the morning.

The country has become accustomed to stability under Modi's rule

In the 10 years since Modi came to power, India has become accustomed not only to stability but also to the central government taking major decisions without hesitation. By not giving the BJP a majority on its own and giving the NDA a majority, people have rejected the Modi government's inflexible decision-making attitude. Instead, they have opted for more hesitation and uncertainty. However, people have not chosen an independent alliance either.

Whether it was simply a warning to consider the interests of those unable to keep pace with the pace of developing India or a larger philosophical message celebrating the go-slow approach will be something Modi will have to assess as he seeks to begin his third term in a calm manner. How he and his deliberations interpret the election results will have implications for the near future.

BJP partially failed

Still, this election was only partially a failure for the BJP. It failed to cross the 272-majority mark, losing in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Maharashtra. In the first three states, it was a failure of governance and an inability to address the concerns of dominant castes and Dalits. In Maharashtra, the attempt to ensure victory by eliminating the opposition led to moral disgust, which astute leaders like Sharad Pawar were able to use to their advantage. The BJP’s arbitrariness has not come across well in this election, and Modi will have to think about a corrective softer approach. This will require the BJP’s state units to return to normal politics and rely less on investigative agencies.

In Bengal, the focus must be on 2026

However, the BJP will have to keep all these aspects in mind. Overall, the BJP performed well in its other strongholds in north and western India. Its ambition to make a mark in non-traditional areas did not fully materialise in Tamil Nadu, but who could have predicted the scale of the BJP’s success in Telangana, Odisha and its ability to overturn the bipolar consensus of Kerala? There was disappointment in Bengal, a state where Modi had made an extra effort. However, the defeat was not of such a level that the Bengal mission should be abandoned completely. Organisational changes, a clearer policy of the leadership and a more culturally nuanced approach could prove beneficial for the 2026 assembly elections.

Modi still a popular and acceptable leader

The point is that even if Modi's guarantee has been overshadowed by the fragmentation of politics in some states, the story still holds true across much of the country. Modi remains the most popular and acceptable leader, and it is unlikely that the BJP would consider replacing him with someone who appears more consensual.

While some of the more radical aspects of his agenda may have to be put on the back burner, if Modi chooses to dramatically reinvent himself, he will miscalculate his decision. He will face a dynamic Congress ecosystem that wants to defeat the BJP. The media will also become less friendly. This is nothing new. He faced similar challenges as CM of Gujarat. In the coming months, the country will watch how he turns threats into opportunities.

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