Narendra Modi, by default
Still, Narendra Modi’s hat-trick is remarkable. But what are the real factors of his success? He claims that his popularity results from his economic achievements. But Gujarat is far from the top 10 of the Indian states, in terms of literacy and malnutrition or according to the Human Development Index.
So why do people vote for Modi? The short answer could be: by default. The Congress has been facing a leadership crisis for years. It has never been able to project a strong contender for the post of chief minister — lest this would unleash faction fights. Besides, the party has an ideology problem: it has always promoted a conservative brand of Hinduism in the state and cannot easily invent an alternative to Hindu nationalism. Its only leader who has been re-elected this time, Shankarsinh Vaghela, is a former RSS cadre.
But in other states — like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — the decline of the Congress has not resulted in the rise to power of