Back in 2009, when L.K. Advani was leading the NDA’s charge against the UPA, trying to halt the Manmohan Singh government’s return to power, who could have anticipated the impending downfall of the BJP patriarch, triggered by the meteoric rise of his protégé Narendra Modi, the erstwhile chief minister of Gujarat? But a decade, as they say, is a long time in politics.
India’s political landscape has changed in more ways than one since then. The old guard in almost all major parties has given way to a new crop of decision-makers brimming over with their own little takes on how to govern the country. Handpicked by the RSS as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of the 2014 elections, Modi burst on the national scene, leading his alliance to a thumping victory. His tenure as the prime minister has since been marked by many an out-of-the-box decision, some commendable, others contentious. Demonetisation, GST, surgical strike, Jan Dhan Yojana and the latest, the air strikes on terror targets in PoK, to name a few, altered the course of the political narrative, and will face the litmus test in the coming parliamentary polls.