It is easy to attribute BJP’s victory to the Modi government’s bold decision to carry out air strikes on Jaish-e-Muhammed’s jihadi terror factory in Balakot deep inside Pakistan. The popular narrative is that BJP was headed for a defeat until IAF turned the polls around by retaliating against the massacre of CRPF troopers in Pulwama.
But that’s too simplistic an assumption. Balakot did indeed play a role by strengthening BJP’s ‘tough-on-national security’ plank and, in the process, adding lustre to PM Narendra Modi’s persona as a decisive leader who could be entrusted with the country’s defence.
But a far bigger contribution came from a number of steps that provided vital underpinnings to Modi’s projection as a pro-poor person and helped BJP gain support among a constituency which had so far remained beyond its grasp. Read More