“Sab ka sath sab ka vikas it’s not just an electoral message, it’s our plan” alleged prime-minister hopeful Narendera Modi, in an election campaign speech before the 2014 elections. Fast forward to today, five years have passed and we still fail to see a clear implementation of this plan. A plan the ruling party assured would strive for the mainstreaming and development of rural populations via progressive policies and mechanisms such as continued economic stability, lower rates of inflation, right-sizing of taxation levels and a gradual rise in the percentage subsidy allotted to related industries. Furthermore, higher levels of employment were guaranteed.

These promises are yet to be fulfilled as millions of rural farmer continue to suffer in India. Steep falls in the costs of staples, for example, chickpeas, onions and oilseeds, can sink the mood of a government in a nation where 70% of individuals still directly or indirectly gain their living from farming. Farmers have walked on Delhi multiple times in the previous 12 months. Some economists speculate rural India is still reeling from Modi’s unexpected choice in 2016 to negate a larger part of the money in the economy, which prompted a long time of money deficiencies and thumped an expected 2% off the nation’s GDP. These financial slips would matter less if Modi had not guaranteed such a great amount in 2014.

The last four years of Indian history will be written in a manner rather different in comparison to the seventy-two-year history of this nation. Failing to deliver on promises yet having the utmost faith and love of one’s followers is rather rare in today’s day and age as loyalists are known to turn into the harshest critics overnight and power and money are the only dogma. Perhaps, Modi’s loyalists focus on the new engagements and exposure Modi has brought to India with respect to foreign policy. Modi has had a considerable focus on relations with the other superpowers of the world. Based on his very public meetings with his counterparts from China, Russia, USA and Japan focusing on bolstering trade and investment within the country – Modi has established himself as a force to be reckoned with.

But with the April 2019 elections around the corner, analysts believe that Modi’s policies may not help him get elected as the Indian prime minister for the second time in a row. The recent Pulwama attack – as dreadful as it was, has been subject to criticism and questions by various journalists within India alleging that this may just be a ploy orchestrated by the ruling party in an attempt to divert attention from internal problems to security and survival vis-à-vis their hostile and rogue neighbor. Ploy or not, Modi has a marred history of using indirect means of violence to support his political ideals. Be it the anti-muslim riots within Gujrat or the consistent toleration and blind amnesty to the activities of the extremist Hindu party, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which had helped Modi get elected in 2014.

The Congress has recuperated its situation by winning vital state races, in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and missed an out and out greater victory in Madhya Pradesh by a margin of just a few seats. In the 2019 election, if the Congress improves its 2014 count of 44 Lok Sabha seats, other non-BJP parties will line up with it to shape an alliance government if there should arise an occurrence of a hung parliament. However, without offering an alternative narrative of hope to the people, the Congress and its partners pose a threat to the BJP or Modi.

Yet, the question still remains. Has Narendera Modi done enough to ensure his seat as prime minister for the next four years? Is the lack of a credible opposition and the internal issues of the Congress coupled with the sense of urgency on national security vis-à-vis hostile neighbors and home grown miscreants, and Modi’s quasi-successful neo-liberal economic mainstreaming be enough to keep him in power - if yes, one thing is for sure Modi will have to take care of minorities and spend more effort in maintaining a secular façade, especially if he wants India to maintain its position in the international community and ensure that the recent trade deals with Saudi Arabia go through.

India cannot become great only because of its natural attributes. It requires a leader with a powerful national vision, iron political will and the ruthlessness to disrupt the extant balance of power. There was once hope, now belied, that Modi would be such a leader. However, Modi has neither articulated a new vision nor charted a new course. Instead, he has doubled down on the retrograde policy of bandwagoning with the United States to ‘balance’ China in the Indo-Pacific region, while distancing India from old friends such as Russia and Iran.