Describing the Lok Sabha poll results as “watershed mandate” in Indian politics, BJP vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe on Monday said the grammar of electoral politics has changed in the country and development and nationalism have taken the centre stage in the political discourse.

The BJP won 303 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats that went to polls this time while the opposition was left way behind with the Congress winning only 52 seats, two less than it needs for a Leader of Opposition post in the lower house.

The verdict in this election has given a “body blow” to the established norms of politics in the country, he said.

The discourse of politics was earlier confined to “socialism, welfare and patronage”, but now development and nationalism dominate it, the BJP leader claimed.

“The 2019 election’s result is a watershed mandate. It has changed the very grammar of electoral politics in India. Traditional discourse of politics earlier used to remain confined to socialism, welfarism and patronage. This time it has gone far beyond all this as people have realised that development alone can bring a real change in their lives,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

Development and nationalism are now the centre stage of the country’s political discourse, he added.

Sahasrabuddhe underlined that this verdict has cornered identity politics and a new model of politics engineered by the BJP based on development and nationalism has emerged.

The Narendra Modi-led central government has ensured that development becomes a part of one’s everyday life bringing it at the experiential level, the BJP vice president said.

After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Narendra Modi is the third prime minister of the country who has been able to retain power for a second term with full majority in Lok Sabha.

Development has also given people a new aspirational identity. Instead of being known by their caste, they feel better to be identified as those who have gas cylinders or electricity at their homes, he said, adding that this has enhanced their social dignity as well.

Sahasrabuddhe, who is the president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is in-charge of BJP’s policy research and good governance departments.

Recalling the party’s journey, he said the BJP is no more “untouchable” and is the preference of every section of society.