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It is a given that BJP’s NDA allies will ask for their pound of flesh in return for supporting Narendra Modi’s government. If they have their way, they will occupy all the plum seats in the Cabinet, as well as the Speaker’s post in the Lok Sabha. Going by past experience, however, they should temper their demands, because it will not take the BJP more than six months to obtain ‘back up’ support from other parties.

JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar is also reported to be asking for a common minimum programme, which is probably necessary due to the politics of Bihar, as an indication that he is not going to be carried away by ‘saffron’ ideology. However, the primary purpose of the NDA partners at their meeting in Delhi on Wednesday was to present a united front and dispel all the talk about shifting loyalties. Wishful thinking in this regard has already been expressed by the INDI Alliance.

Whatever occurs in the coming days, it can be expected that, after PM Modi’s third swearing-in, matters will stabilise and the modified approach to governance will become visible. This would be not so much because of the TDP and JD(U)’s influence, as much as by the reading of what occurred in the general elections, particularly in the state of UP. All that ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Vikas’, despite its excellent delivery record, did not pay dividends. The defeats in Amethi and Faizabad (Ayodhya), particularly, underline the shortcomings of the ‘politics as service approach’. People, it seems, do not want ‘Sabka Vikas’, only ‘Apna Vikas’. As such, ‘jiski jitni aabadi, utni uski hissedari’, seems to have struck a chord with the castes and communities of UP.

Many of those who are in the 18 to 25 age range are not old enough to know the India that was before the Modi era. As such, they are not aware of what has changed. In fact, even those from an earlier generation are stuck in the ‘government job is employment’ mindset. The complexities of resetting the economy to growth driven mode are beyond their understanding. It is time now for the BJP to re-examine its ‘offerings’ to people – perhaps not to deliver so much and keep promises hanging. Specially for those who lack the appreciation for such humdrum things as decent homes, latrines, water supply, free medical treatment, good infrastructure, et al. Surely, there are enough spinmeisters in the BJP to deliver a load of illusions as toxic as any thrown up by the opposition.