Political Campaigning and Party Strategies: The Importance of Rallies in the Northern States
South Asian History and Culture
The rise of populist welfare politics with the distinct flavour of Hindutva-inspired nationalism seems to have replaced pluralistic and class-based politics. However, Hindutva has been around for decades now, and until 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had never won a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha. The 2014 election outcome cannot be explained by Hindutva-inspired new caste alliances only. This study suggests that what has changed is the social context of the information ecosystem in which election rallies are at the centre of campaign strategy. To illustrate the role of the campaign in the BJP’s victory in northern India, this study analyses and compares main themes from the rally speeches of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi in 2019 as well as how the two parties leveraged their organizational strength to disseminate campaign messages and narratives to the electorate.
Anup Kumar (2022) Political campaigning and party strategies: the importance of rallies in the northern states, South Asian History and Culture, 13:3, 285-304, DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2022.2093469