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Making sense of India’s election results

For the first time in 30 years, a single party has received majority to form a government in India. Narendra Modi from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is projected to be the next prime minister. Modi defeated the Congress Party led by Rahul Ghandhi, promising to crackdown on corruption and revive the economy. 

These University of Michigan experts can discuss the election: 

Juan Cole, professor of history, is interested in Indian-Pakistan relations and the politics and culture of the Indian sub-continent.

“With the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan, the potential for Indo-Pak rivalry in that country is likely enhanced with a more nationalist party in New Delhi. Still, some observers have suggested that incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be less hawkish on foreign policy than was the case with the last BJP government, and more focused on economic advances and energy issues.”

Leela Fernandes, professor of political science, studies the relationship between politics and culture. She doubts that the election marks the end of the Gandhi dynasty.  


“The extent of the Congress’ route also is a consequence of the failure of Rahul Gandhi to mount an effective electoral campaign. As long as the Congress relies on the Gandhi family, dynastic influences will continue.” 

“The more significant issues at hand are what the elections mean for the future of Indian politics. The presence of a strong opposition party is as important to a strong democracy as the ability to produce a stable government with a clear majority for a single party.”

Brian Min: assistant professor of political science, studies the political economy of development, with a focus on the politics of energy, ethnic politics and civil conflict.


“This is a landmark moment for Indian democracy. The results demonstrate that voters are willing to sharply change course, abandoning Congress which has stood for decades as the party of the masses.”

“Congress’s strategy to lure rural voters by promising lavish new spending did not work this time around. It no longer seems that Indians feel locked into voting for the same party over and over.”

JOURNALISTS: If you would like to interview the professors, contact Mandira Banerjee ( or William Foreman (

— 5 months ago with 3 notes
#india  #India politics  #India election 
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    What does Indian elections mean?
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