U-M experts available to discuss the Delhi elections

February 10, 2015


The opposition Aam Aadmi Party won a landslide victory in assembly elections in India’s capital, dealing Narendra Modi his first serious political setback since he became prime minister last May.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won only a handful of seats, while Congress—which ruled Delhi for 15 years—failed to win a seat. University of Michigan experts can analyze the vote:

Leela Fernandes, professor of women’s studies and political science, studies the relationship between politics and culture.

“The Aam Aadmi Party victory is a very significant electoral event because of the margin of victory,” she said. “The results are an indicator of the limits of the 2014 electoral Bharatiya Janata Party wave. They call attention to three central issues. The first links to the dissatisfaction with continued socioeconomic inequality and inadequate provision of basic services to the lower and middle classes. The second issue relates to disorganization within the BJP and the limits of Modi’s personalized charismatic appeal. The third issue is related to the limits of the Hindu nationalist agenda.

“The elections also point to the continued disarray and lack of the appeal of the Congress party, but it is too early to tell if the local elections will have a national impact. However, the AAP victory does reveal the potential for grassroots mobilizational activity to build a secular cross-class electoral alternative to the BJP-Congress power structure and that in itself is an important development.”

Contact: 734-780-7514, [email protected]. Bio: myumi.ch/6wndJ


Brian Min, assistant professor of political science, studies the political economy of development, with a focus on the politics of energy, ethnic politics and civil conflict.

“This was a landslide victory for the Aam Aadmi Party, which is proving that the anti-corruption movement will not die anytime soon,” he said. “If there is a silver lining for Modi, it is that voters continue to express an abiding concern for everyday development issues, like electricity and government efficiency, that are closely aligned with Modi’s development agenda. This is a stunning and embarrassing defeat for Congress.”

Contact: 734-546-6824, [email protected]. Bio: myumi.ch/JmNl6


Puneet Manchanda is a professor of marketing at the Ross School of Business. His areas of expertise are business in emerging markets, business in India, and strategy and marketing issues, in particular.

“I don’t think that the AAP victory represents a huge blow to the BJP,” he said. “AAP’s victory is really driven by the people’s disillusionment with professional politicians as a class. But it does raise the bar for the BJP in terms of performance, especially as the general perception that the BJP government hasn’t done much continues to grow. For the economy as a whole, I expect that the market will recover fairly quickly.”

Contact: 734-936-2445, [email protected]. Bio: myumi.ch/LB9qa