2014: Year of high for Narendra Modi and BJPNew Delhi: Helped by a significant wave against the Congress-headed UPA, Narendra Modi lifted BJP from two consecutive defeats to secure an absolute majority on its own at the Centre and helped it add further
New Delhi: Helped by a significant wave against the Congress-headed UPA, Narendra Modi lifted BJP from two consecutive defeats to secure an absolute majority on its own at the Centre and helped it add further muscle by snatching power in three states.
However, at the end of successful year the party and its government at the Centre were dogged with controversies spurred by the pro-activism of "Hindutva" outfits campaigning on conversion, "love-jihad" and other issues which are pet themes of RSS.
Once regarded as a divisive figure, the 64-year-old former Gujarat Chief Minister and an RSS Pracharak single-handedly catapulted the BJP to further successes in the Assembly elections that followed the Lok Sabha polls in May.
In one of the most spectacular years since its establishment in 1980, the party added to its kitty, not just the Centre but governments in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, and became a major player in Jammu and Kashmir, where it got 25 seats, albeit all in Jammu region, emerging the largest in popular vote with 23 per cent votes.
Having lost two successive previous general elections, the party was forced to choose a mascot that could get them power and struck at the roots of three-decade old era of coalition politics.
Preparations started almost a year ago when he was chosen the party's campaign chief followed by being declared as its Prime Ministerial candidate in September.Modi disproved critics who said he may not be able to get uncommitted votes to the party because of his hardliner image.
The party rode the wave created by Narendra Modi's aggressive campaign across the country and romped to power at the Centre by staging a historic victory and securing 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, a feat not achieved by anyone in the last 30 years. The BJP bagged 31.34 per cent of total votes polled.
The BJP scored many firsts this year, the most important being its ability to upstage Congress in independent India and emerge as the main party in the country.
Stemming from its Lok Sabha victory, the party gambled in the crucial Assembly elections in Maharashtra by going it alone dumping its oldest saffron ally Shiv Sena and emerged the single largest party in the state, though falling short of majority. It is another story that Shiv Sena later ate its words and came back to BJP and join the government there.
Similar tactics in Haryana helped it to capture power on its own.