Illustration: Ajit Ninan
Narendra Modi’s smashing victory has upended many rules of Indian politics.
For one, never before has a party lost by a landslide in state assembly elections, then come back to win a landslide victory in the same state in the general election, within six months.
The BJP achieved that feat in Chhattisgarh, and also flipped Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The only factor present in the general election and not in those state elections: Modi.
Travelling in Uttar Pradesh during the campaign, voters told us that they were again lining up behind traditional caste lines. But when they entered the booth, it appears, the nearly 100 million first-time voters broke with tradition and cast their ballots for Modi, choosing the person over caste.