03 March, 2021

The People Tree Needs Deep Roots

A calculated programme of social service recruited the poor, retained the rich and won the BJP a rich harvest

The People Tree Needs Deep Roots

The BJP’s success in the 2014 polls was unprecedented by many metrics. One measure that analysts rightly focused on was the party’s success with voters from outside its traditional caste Hindu base. The BJP’s majority depended on a strong showing with OBCs, even with many Dalit and Adivasi voters. By constructing a ‘rainbow coalition’ of support across the caste spectrum, the BJP was thought to have transcended its image as a ‘Brahmin-Bania’ party. Such optimist commentary contrasts with post-­­mor­tems of the party’s performance a decade earlier. In 2004, the NDA’s unexpected ouster was seen to signal the BJP’s inability to consolidate support outside its savarna base, prompting some to conclude that it would str­uggle to remain relevant in India’s increasingly competitive democracy.

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