The BJP came into office after “ten long years of government by the incompetent and corrupt Indian National Congress party,” amidst widespread disgust with the establishment figures of Indian politics. Modi was heralded as just the refreshing economic reformer India needed. The Congress party had ruled India for 53 of the 72 years since independence. However, they presently do not offer a credible alternative to BJP. The Congress Party epitomised the elite so despised by the populist movement of the BJP. The leader Rahul Ghandi, a fourth generation member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, was seen by voters as a lightweight and he was unable to shed his lacklustre and elitist image. In contrast, Modi portrayed himself as a man of the people and seemed to be the person best placed to deliver the desired change. Although the BJP has been controversial, equally so were the Congress Party governments. The nepotism that characterised the Nehru/Ghandi governments is reflected in the 450+ facilities, hospitals and schemes that were named after members of the family. The regimes were also riddled with ongoing corruption scandals that rocked India. These included money for votes and infrastructure, defence and telecommunication contracts.
In practice, the economic differences between the BJP and the Congress are probably overstated. Most political parties in India share what Indian economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia once called a “strong consensus for weak reforms.”
Rejecting the premises
Ahluwalia, Montek, S. 2002. "Economic Reforms in India Since 1991: Has Gradualism Worked?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16 (3): 67-88. DOI: 10.1257/089533002760278721
- https://www.theglobalist.com/india-narendra-modi-democracy-hindu-nationalism-citizenship-bill/</ref<ref name=time>https://time.com/5586417/hope-for-economic-reform-in-india/