A striking feature of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was the unusual prominence accorded to national security in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign. In 2014, the party’s election manifesto discussed security policy, but only towards the end. By contrast, the 2019 manifesto began with national security. Political scientists will debate the extent to which these issues shaped voters’ preferences, but the Narendra Modi government now has enormous political capital to bring about far-reaching reforms in defence — reforms that cannot be put off.

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This article was originally published in the Print.