Speaking Of Asia: India - a gathering sense of deja vu

Could history be poised to repeat itself in India with a popular leader voted out? The next few months will tell.

The results of elections to five Indian provincial assemblies are in, including three from the country's Hindi-speaking heartland, and with that comes a creeping sense of deja vu.

In 2004, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held power in New Delhi. Heading into the national polls on the slogan of "India Shining" - growth had perked up under its watch and the world had begun to beat a path to its door - the government seemed assured of a second stint. Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a brilliant orator noted for wisecracks and a folksy style, was popular around the nation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2018, with the headline 'India - a gathering sense of deja vu'. Subscribe