Narendra Modi Image Credit: THE WEEK
Narendra Modi Image Credit: THE WEEK

UP Elections 2017: How Narendra Modi Will Use This Triumph!

With thumping victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and dramatic coups in Goa and Manipur, Modi is set to embark on big-bang missions with all guns blazing.

Sachidananda Murthy

Even before Narendra Modi started campaigning in Uttar Pradesh, he knew his government could under-go a big change after the elections. Cabinet heavyweight Nitin Gadkari, who was in charge of the BJP strategy in Goa, had told the prime minister that only defence minister Manohar Parrikar could salvage the party's chances in the tiny coastal state, which has a special place in Modi's political journey to Delhi—the BJP conclave held here in September 2013 had confirmed his coronation as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 elections.

Parrikar shifting to Goa to lead a coalition government has left the national security apparatus and the Cabinet Committee on Security a bit shaken. But, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the cricket aficionado, has returned as the able night-watchman at the helm of the defence ministry.

While Parrikar had been bolder and more energetic than his predecessor A.K. Antony, reforms of the armed forces had not got the necessary impetus to fulfil Modi's vision of a highly mobile and intimidatory military. The big question is: Now what?

On the political front, Modi—buoyed by the big victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and the coups in Goa and Manipur—is being lauded as a colossus. BJP president Amit Shah gushed that the prime minister had "emerged as the tallest leader in the country since independence".

Modi has a window of little more than a year, before the coun

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