The BJP in Election 2019: Will the Narendra Modi-led BJP repeat its 2014 performance; come close to it; or even better it? There is a strong possibility for all three, and in that order, says Surjit S. Bhalla in Citizen Raj: Indian Elections 1952–2019.The Congress in Election 2019: Will the Rahul Gandhi-led Indian National Congress emerge as the single largest Opposition party; or will it become irrelevant and be relegated to electoral history? Most likely, and in the same order, infers the author.But this is not a book about Elections 2019. It is the most definitive account of the history of Indian elections, chronicling the political and economic background against which it has been unfolding since 1952: the hegemony of the Congress party for close to six decades, and why the ‘dynasts’ control it; the ignominious end of Janata Party in the 1970s; the economic reforms of 1991; rise of the Right-wing BJP in the early 1980s, and most importantly, the way India ceded space to a man called Narendra Modi.Citizen Raj cautions readers that the BJP needs corrective action and to immediately move away from its cow politics; even as the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party, and the Mahagathbandhan (an alliance of regional parties) need to move away from an outdated social and economic narrative to become worthy of a nation which is fast discarding identity and caste politics to emerge as a modern middle-class economic power. Brutally honest, deeply incisive and backed by in-depth research and data, this is essential reading for everyone interested in India’s political and economic future—no matter which side of the political divide they stand on.
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