New essay: “Modi’s Victory and the BJP’s Future”

In a new piece for Foreign Affairs online, I take a look at the BJP’s crushing victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections and what it means for India’s political landscape. In addition to winning UP, the BJP also formed governments in Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand.

Here’s the punchline:

For now, Modi and the BJP can bask in the afterglow of a major electoral achievement. No party has vanquished its rivals in UP in this manner in 40 years, and that too was in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s disastrous Emergency Rule. Judged against the very high bar of its 2014 national performance, the ruling party’s standing has held up reasonably well. The BJP, in extremely short order, has remade itself in the image of Modi. As the case of Gandhi reminds us, such a strategy is laden with long-term risk. But in the short term, the party has decided to ride the wave.

You can read the full piece here.