New Delhi, Mar 14: The elections to five state assemblies including the most populous and politically alive state of Uttar Pradesh that has given as many as 8 Prime Ministers to the country including the current incumbent, aroused the similar curiosity as those of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
And surpassing the performance of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has done exceedingly well in the four out of five states, Uttar Pradesh being the top on the list with 325 seats in the BJP’s kitty.
This spectacular victory, according to BJP National President Amit Shah, was possible only because of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who ‘mesmerised the people with his oratory’.
For most of the foreign media channels, such a big win for the BJP was a surprise, especially against the background of the ‘demonetisation’ move taken in November 2016. In the historic victory in UP, the BJP on Saturday defeated the major parties of the state by winning a staggering 325 seats out a total 403.
Most global media houses felt that this victory has endorsed that the decision was right and taken in the interest of the nation. The international media also viewed this victory as consolidation of Modi’s dominance over the Indian politics and put the Prime Minister on track for re-election in 2019.
Let’s see how some prominent global media channels and newspapers reported and commented on the landslide victory of the BJP and Narendra Modi.
News agency Reuters reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party has declared a landslide victory in crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state, in a result that is expected to boost his claim to a second term.
The agency has reported that the month-long, fiercely fought vote in Uttar Pradesh and four other states have been seen as a referendum on PM Modi's nearly three-year-old rule, especially after his controversial ban last year on high-value notes.
The Washington Post hailed BJP’s victory calling it the win of ‘India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party’. The Post said: “the victory will come as a big morale-booster for Modi, who had campaigned extensively in the region for his party’s nominees”. It also said that the BJP appears to have successfully forged a coalition of upper, middle-ranking and lower castes in Uttar Pradesh.
The Post looked at the victory as a referendum on the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nearly 3-year-old government.
Commenting on the election results The Guardian said that this victory was interpreted as a broad endorsement of Prime Minister Modi’s decision to invalidate 86 percent of all the currency notes in circulation as part of an anti-corruption drive. Modi successfully portrayed this decision as a decisive strike against the black money accumulated by the country’s wealthy elites.
“That strategy appears to have paid off, helping to broaden the BJP’s appeal beyond its traditionally base of upper-caste Hindus and merchants, and sustaining the extraordinary personal popularity Modi continues to enjoy the Indian public nearly three years since his election”, the newspaper said.
Al-Jazeera news channel in its report commented that the triumph vindicated PM Modi's decision to turn the campaign into a referendum on his own performance after his shock decision last November to abolish high-denomination banknotes, a move he framed as a fight for the poor against the corrupt rich.
The Los Angeles Times said that BJP easily dethroned the incumbent government in UP and shrugged off the effects of the Prime Minister’s demonetization step of November 8, 2016. The results could help BJP gain ground in the upper house of parliament, whose composition is dictated in part by state assemblies, and whose current members have stymied many of Modi’s economic reform proposals, saying they would hurt the poor.
Major US daily The New York Times found the scale of the UP victory all the “more stunning as it was followed by the Modi’s politically risky decision to eliminate most of India’s cash.” “The mandate was a “referendum on the Prime Minister”, it said.
“Modi is bringing relative political stability to India, by fragmenting the opposition and concentrating power in his hands, thus shifting the driver of economic growth from the private sector to the state, and freeing himself to conduct radical economic experiments like his currency cleansing policy,” the NY Times observed.
BBC said in its report that, PM Narendra Modi's party has won a landslide victory in one of India's key states, a boost for the prime minister halfway through his first term. The Bharatiya Janata Party took control of northern Uttar Pradesh state - India's most populous - with the biggest majority there since 1980.
The Telegraph writes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party was on course for a landslide victory in India's most important battleground state, in a personal triumph that will strengthen his claim to a second term as national leader.
The CNN says that India's ruling political party has won a crucial state election, strengthening its ability to push through a development agenda in the world's fastest-growing major economy.