The early jitters in the stock market on Monday morning showed how nervous investors were. The markets were confident of a BJP victory, thanks to the exit polls, but when early counting trends showed the party neck-and-neck with Congress, the Sensex tanked more than 800 points. Later, as counting progressed, it recovered.
Despite taking tough measures such as demonetisation and the brouhaha over GST rollout, the government has managed to keep voters under its wings. Now it can stick to its policy trajectory, with reforms and fiscal consolidation topping the agenda.

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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 19 December 2017 1:30 ISTMust read’FRDI Bill will take away people’s bank deposits’: Mamata writes to Jaitley for immediate withdrawalForget sharing your data with banks, in Goa you need to share Aadhaar for paid sex<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>For IndiaThe issue of quota could be back in the political discourse with the Congress’s promise of reservation to Patidars having helped it to consolidate in Patel belts of Gujarat. In order to consolidate its Hindu vote-bank, the BJP’s call for Ram temple will reach a crescendo before 2019 elections. The Hindutva message will be pushed further and deeper. Reacting to Rahul Gandhi reworking his party’s strategy from minority outreach to soft Hindutva, the BJP will scale up Hindutva, along with issues like the ‘Triple Talaq’ in the run-up to 2019. This also means that despite being in office for three years, the Modi government is yet to suffer any substantial anti-incumbency wave. It can breathe easy in 2019 when it faces the next general elections. Trading community’s woes will now get more attention, especially after the results in the Saurashtra region, the diamond hub. The message is, reform with caution. Also, the middle class needs to be kept in mind. The echo of Monday’s results will be heard far beyond the boundaries of the two states and will impact upcoming elections in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. For GujaratGujarat has given one message loud and clear: The voter cannot be taken for granted. BJP got simple majority, but that’s about it. Congress has gained but doesn’t get to rule the state. Were it not for PM Modi, the BJP would have come close to experiencing defeat. Gujarat trusts Modi, but wants the party to work on unresolved issues. Congress could not encash 22 years of anti-incumbency, dissent over GST and Patidar support. Rahul fought gallantly, but will need the rank and file to convert narrow defeats into victory. It must now fight hard on people’s issues. For Himachal PradeshAn end of the road for BJP stalwarts Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal. While Shanta Kumar was already out of the race, the defeat of two-time CM Dhumal and BJP state president Satpal Singh Satti has sent shock waves through the party. With the last-minute decision of declaring Dhumal as its chief ministerial candidate backfiring, the BJP will now think of projecting leaders with a stronger grassroots connect in future Assembly polls. For modi-shah & the bjpThe iron grip of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on the party will continue. Modi remains the principal vote-catcher of the BJP, while Shah remains the ‘Shah’ of strategy. There will be more centralisation of power within the BJP. The loss of over a dozen seats will act as a wake-up call for the duo. They will now have to re-assess the impact of hard reforms measures on the rural electorate (results in rural Gujarat being a pointer). For Rahul & CongMonday’s results can boost opposition morale in the run-up to the crucial seven state elections in 2018 and the general elections in 2019. Unlike in Gujarat, the Congress state leaderships in Rajasthan and Karnataka are popular. A stronger Congress can also become the nucleus around which all other non-BJP regional parties can gather. Congress has recorded its best performance in Gujarat and this will definitely be a moral booster. It has taken away some 16 seats from the BJP in Gujarat — the credit for which should go to party president Rahul Gandhi. For Hardik & PatidarsDuring the campaign, Hardik Patel was confident that the Patidars would back him, and, therefore, Congress would defeat BJP. That hasn’t happened. He has said that the agitation will be more intense if BJP wins; but he must now introspect as the Patidars in urban areas haven’t voted for Congress, and those in rural areas voted against BJP because they suffered an agrarian crisis. With BJP back in power, Patidars may not get the reservation quota. For Economy & ReformsThe early jitters in the stock market on Monday morning showed how nervous investors were. The markets were confident of a BJP victory, thanks to the exit polls, but when early counting trends showed the party neck-and-neck with Congress, the Sensex tanked more than 800 points. Later, as counting progressed, it recovered. Despite taking tough measures such as demonetisation and the brouhaha over GST rollout, the government has managed to keep voters under its wings. Now it can stick to its policy trajectory, with reforms and fiscal consolidation topping the agenda.

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What the verdicts mean…