India’s Modi has his work cut out, as by-election defeats show
In the by-elections held for the Indian Parliament and some state legislatures, the results of which were declared last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies could only win three of the 14 seats contested across 11 states (“Modi’s ruling BJP suffers humiliating defeat in by-elections”, June 1).
This is a strident message to the ruling party from the electorate, and the BJP has to listen diligently. Measures like the demonetisation (a shock decision in November 2016 to withdraw high-denomination currency notes), the hasty introduction of the goods and services tax, as well as issues like inflation, the neglect of infrastructure, rising fuel prices, and so on, have disillusioned the common man.
Nationwide elections are scheduled for the summer of 2019. The BJP must pull up its socks, or even the charisma and oratory of Mr Modi may not be able to deliver victory.
Unless it starts listening to those who voted it into power, the party may well face having to sit in the opposition after the nation votes again.
Rajendra Aneja, Mumbai