“This will usher in a change in India's polity.” This was how Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah prefaced his interaction with the media even as the results were being declared for the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur and they signified major gains for the BJP in three of these States. Shah, who is referred to as “action man” in the echelons of the BJP, is not really known to be a political theorist. So, he did not elaborate on the “change” that was being “ushered in” or its characteristics and import. However, he said “this is a win for the people, for their determination” and “a win for [Prime Minister] Modiji’s leadership” and “a win for the hard work and efforts of our party workers”.
Obviously, the reference was to the phenomenal triumph the ruling party at the Centre registered in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous State in the country, crushing all political adversaries, and the remarkable victory in the hill State of Uttarakhand. Shah did refer also to the defeat suffered by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP alliance in Punjab but went on to claim that the performance there too was creditable. Then he contended that the BJP would form governments in Manipur and Goa, too, though the elections had thrown up hung Assemblies in both States and the BJP was not the single largest party in either of them. Shah did not exp