Congress can recover from election drubbing by Modi – if it looks to Kerala: Shashi Tharoor

SCMP

  • The opposition party was relegated to a distant runner-up in the polls as Hindu nationalist messaging swayed voters.
  • But the Congress-led United Democratic Front, which secured 19 seats in Kerala, is a look at the future of the party and of India, writes Shashi Tharoor.
L ast week, the results of India’s general elections were declared, giving the incumbent ruling National Democratic Alliance, headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a landslide victory and a decisive mandate to form the federal government for a second term.

The BJP’s individual performance has stunned many observers – the party has on its own managed to retain a majority in India’s 543-member Lok Sabha (Lower House), securing 303 seats and 37.6 per cent of the national vote, even improving on its performance in 2014 when it won 282 seats. In contrast, my own party, the Indian National Congress, was relegated to a distant runner-up position with 52 seats, a marginal improvement from the 44 we secured in the previous edition.
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