October 24, 2014
by Justine Dodgen
As we highlighted earlier this year, 2014 is the biggest year in the history of democracy and India led the charge with the largest democratic election in the world this past spring. India’s spring elections selected members of its lower house, the Lok Sabha, from which a new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was chosen. This election was a landmark event not only for democracy, but also for India, as it brought the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) into the majority with a landslide victory, one of only a few instances since India’s founding that a party other than the Indian National Congress or its coalition has been in power. Further, the BJP won a majority of the parliament’s seats outright, a feat that has not been accomplished by a political party since 1989.
Last week, Prime Minister Modi’s party continued to gain momentum in a round of state elections wins. The BJP won the most seats of Maharashtra state’s legislature, the state in which financial capital Mumbai is located, and Haryana, a relatively industrialized state in northern India. Modi has called his platform “cooperative federalism,” and he has advocated for state-level government to play an important role in strengthening economic growth. The BJP’s gains in two economic states thus represent a powerful boost in support for Modi’s plan. (more…)