It’s been two years since the historic Lok Sabha elections of 2014 that made Narendra Modi the prime minister of the country and the first leader born in independent India to hold the post. Running in phases between April 7 and May 12, 2014, it was the longest running election in the history of the country. The results were declared on May 16 and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had emerged victorious, winning 336 out of 543 seats.
Here are a list of the top ten stories published in the Indian Express on May 17, 2014 following BJP’s landslide win.
1. Modi: Your time starts now
He delivers first single-party majority in 30 years, shatters age-old assumptions, writes Shekhar Gupta
“We should welcome the fact that this is a victory achieved primarily on an unqualified promise of economic reform never seen in our political history, soaked as it is in the fading pink of fake socialism. This result, therefore, is also a devastating popular rejection of outdated, Congress-style povertarianism.”
2. BJP celebrations start before counting, Congress goes into hiding
Newsline reporters fan out across the city to capture the mood of the counting centres
“Congress and AAP supporters were conspicuous by their absence outside the counting centres in Delhi on Friday. In contrast, BJP candidates and supporters swarmed the counting centres since morning, kicking off celebrations even before the results were announced.”
3. AAP finds its feet in Punjab, Captain holds fort
Punjab was, in fact, the only state where the AAP won any seats in the country, writes Kanchan Vasdev
“Punjab was, in fact, the only state where the AAP won any seats in the country. Its vote share of 24.5 per cent is unprecedented for a party apart from the Akalis and the Congress in the state. AAP performance is seen as a result of the anti-incumbency sentiment against both the Akali Dal plus ally BJP in the state and the Congress at the Centre.”
4. Celebrations, fear as Muzaffarnagar riot seats go to BJP
Sanjiv Baliyan took out a grand victory procession to slogans of “jai shree Ram, and har har Modi”. But he avoided areas where riot-affected Muslims have bought land or are living in temporary shelters, writes Pritha Chatterjee.
“As the victorious BJP candidates and their supporters hit the streets, visiting riot-hit villages where Muslims are still to return, areas where displaced Muslims have been living grew increasingly desolate, with shops shutting and streets virtually emptying.”
5. In Modi’s sweep, a ground for AAP’s alternative politics
“Broom is not the monopoly of any party. We are cleaning the area for tomorrow.”
“For the AAP, the result underlined the idea of an alternative politics the party is trying to follow. Without any base in a constituency, where two of the five constituencies are rural, the AAP worked overnight and Kejriwal secured more votes than the last BJP winner Murli Manohar Joshi had received. What went against him was his Delhi stint as people often questioned his non-serious approach and rivals termed him a ‘bhagoda (deserter)’,” writes Ashutosh Bharadwaj.
6. Modi’s moment alone
The election that broke every known rule of Indian politics, writes Pratap Bhanu Mehta
“Modi is a political phenomenon without precedent. In the annals of democratic politics, there are few stories to match his. He is a politician who embodies the quintessence of politics: converting adversity into opportunity. That single characteristic, more than any other, sums up his appeal.”
7. No Proof Required: The Gandhis should resign
Election 2014 likely signals the end of the longest running political dynasty in the world, writes Surjit S. Bhalla
“The reality is that the Congress as we have known it, and have loved and hated it, is destroyed, and it is the political death of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. When will the leaders realise that feudalism is over, that monarchy is over, and that India has moved significantly forward and changed? Also note that the Congress, with this debacle, ceases to be recognised as an official opposition party. Thus, it is time that the Gandhis realised that their reign is over.”
8. In Orissa: The rise and rise of Naveen Patnaik
Naveen’s Biju Janata Dal registered a thumping win, grabbing 119 of the 147 Assembly seats and 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats, writes Debabrata Mohanty.
“Like in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, Naveen bucked the Modi wave as he helped the BJD — and himself— to a record fourth consecutive win in simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls. The Naveen wave — as BJD leaders have started calling it — was so massive that it drubbed most opposition titans.”
9. Amma wave dwarfed
AIADMK win overshadowed by Modi victory, DMK routed, writes Gopu Mohan
“The Modi wave that swept other parts of the country was invisible in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK won 37 of the 39 constituencies in Tamil Nadu to emerge as the third largest party in the Lok Sabha. But the even bigger Modi wave rendered the impressive tally insignificant in the final picture.”
10. The dying light of freedom
The verdict is the deepest challenge to the idea of India since Jinnah’s two-nation theory,writes Mani Shankar Aiyar.
“We are at a moment of history that can only be compared to Lahore, March 23, 1940, when Jinnah persuaded one section of our society to accept that India was comprised of two nations because nationhood had to be founded in religious identity. Thus was conceived a Muslim Pakistan.”