This has been an action-packed day fraught with more mysteries and surprises than one would have anticipated. Surely, nobody had expected initial trends to get established so clearly early on, only to be reversed twice as spectacularly.
Now, with the verdict firmly in the mahagathbandhan's favour, we can safely draw some conclusions. Firstly, this result is bound to have nationwide implications. The incentive for the opposition to unite against the BJP would get a considerable boost, and may come to define the upcoming elections, especially, in Assam and West Bengal. If the BJP is the new Congress, the opposition now won't take 40 years to unite against it.
Secondly, the pressure on Modi to engage with the opposition in a way a prime minister ought to and shun his perpetual campaign mode style of politics would be much more. Thirdly, BJP president Amit Shah's already-resented rise in the BJP would come under further questioning. Fourthly, it should be amply clear to the BJP that the politics of divisiveness and polarisation cannot yield them electoral results in the India of 2015 and Pakistan-bashing generates faux passion and outrage only in warrior TV channels' studios.
Lastly, while this result may not diminish the popularity of the prime minister, it does make plain the fact that the Modi wave has, in fact, ebbed out, the afterglow of the summer of 2014 is over and the focus now must shift solely to performance.
Watch also the moves of home minister Rajnath Singh. He has been watching the scene quietly and biding his time. He is believed to have met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday. I won't be surprised if he makes a pitch to return as the party chief as he really wants to lead the campaign in Uttar Pradesh in 2017 in his own way.
(This post first appeared in Shekhar Gupta's Facebook page.)