Three years into the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be going from strength to strength. The BJP and its allies now control power in eighteen of India’s twenty nine states. For the first time in Indian history, the prime minister, president, and vice president all hail from the BJP. If current trends hold, the ruling alliance is on track to establish a majority in the upper house of India’s parliament—giving it control of both houses—by the middle of 2018.
The secrets to the BJP’s unprecedented success are unpacked in a new book, How the BJP Wins: Inside India’s Greatest Election Machine (Juggernaut), by the journalist Prashant Jha. Drawing on months of fieldwork, first-person reportage, and interviews with key members of the BJP and its ideological fountainhead, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Jha takes readers inside the front lines of some of India’s most consequential election battles.
To discuss the rise of the BJP and its ramifications for India’s political and governance prospects,Carnegie hosted a special Google Hangout featuring Prashant Jha and Carnegie’s Milan Vaishnav.
Prashant Jha is a journalist with the Hindustan Times and the author of Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.
Milan Vaishnav is senior fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he works on the political economy of India.