Modi's Emphatic Win (Re)Defines New India
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Modi's Emphatic Win (Re)Defines New India

By IndraStra Global News Team

On May 23, 2019, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a second five-year term — many calling it an "emphatic mandate" based on national security while others terming it a ‘global trend’ of right-wing populists sweeping to victory.

Official data from the Election Commission of India (ECI) showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 303 of the 542 seats being contested, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian parliament). That would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984. According to Amy Kazmin, New Delhi-based Financial Times’ South Asia bureau chief — "(this win is) nothing less than the reordering of India’s political landscape.

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The Narrative for Win

BJP President Amit Shah, who is credited with crafting the political strategy, fuelled nationalist sentiment by accusing the fragmented opposition of appeasing Muslims, turning the bordering states into a replica of neighboring Bangladesh, a source of illegal immigrants. Such narratives helped the party retain its base in northern and western India but also advanced in the east. Now according to sources, Shah's reward could be, probably home ministry — a powerful post with control of domestic security and intelligence services.

Besides that, BJP projected the opposition as a ragtag grouping without any uniformity in leadership. It strongly pushed the narrative that nothing had happened in the last 65 years and all gains in the country were achieved in the last 5 years.

According to Prof. Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada, Associate Professor in Strategy and Innovation, University of Southampton, "Modi pitched the contest as one between a dynast and an incorruptible deliverer – and the Indian voter believed the track record of Modi over the previous five years, along with his message of “Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas” (development for one and all). And the 2019 campaign was centered around the phrase “Main Bhi Chowkidar” (I too am a watchman) emphasizing his anti-corruption credentials and presenting him as an upholder of justice."

To propagate the narrative, BJP spent around ₹1.2 crore in advertising since February 2019 across 554 ads until the model code of conduct (MCC) kicked in. BJP ran a combination of video, print and digital ads around its campaigns such as "Main Bhi Chowkidar".

Pulwama Attack-Balaktot Air Strike Factor

After Pulwama Attack

Tensions flared between India and Pakistan after the suicide attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) in Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir) on February 14.

After Balakot Air-strike

India responded to the Pulwama attack by conducting an air strike on a JeM camp at Balakot, deep inside Pakistan, on February 26.
The following day, February 27, in a tit-for-tat airstrike, Pakistan retaliated, causing an Indian MiG-21 to be shot down and it's pilot to be taken prisoner by the Pakistan Army before being returned on March 1.

Under Modi's leadership, India projected an aggressive military posture to defend its interests - catapulted his ratings and eventually fetched him an electoral win. At that time, it was rightly predicted by IndraStra Global through a couple of tweets (as embedded above).

The Impact of Poll Results on the Stock Market

After Narendra Modi-led BJP stormed to victory in the general elections, the Indian stock market ended the week on a euphoric note. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)'s 30-share Sensex gained 624.33 points on Friday to 39,434.72, taking the overall gains in the week to nearly 4%. Interestingly, it also added, "a whopping 1,504 points in the week or about 3.9% buoyed by the sentiment around Modi’s victory." On the other hand, the National Stock Exchange (NSE)'s Nifty has added a robust 437 points in the week or about 3.83%.

Do note: on May 23 (the day poll results were announced), both the Sensex and Nifty scaled new lifetime highs. The Sensex touched a new all-time high of 40,124.56, while the Nifty touched a fresh peak of 12,041.15.

According to Karvy, investors always prefer a clear majority and it hoped Modi-led government will stay in power because it is perceived to be investor friendly and since it has brought about reforms like GST. The perception was that markets would respond positively to the BJP government being back in power - and the post-election stock market readings solidify that perception by showing a strong short-term uptick due to positive sentiments.

But, only time will tell he how stocks and the rupee will behave in near future, as the focus shifts back to an economy which desperately needs a surgical course correction especially when the U.S.-China trade war rages and global oil prices tick higher.