BJP Leaders
BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, Gujarat's chief minister Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for BJP and leader Arun Jaitley.Reuters

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to end South Asia's longest serving prime minister's reign in the 2014 elections, and return India to annual growth rates of 9%.

Opinion polls predict the right-wing party winning the most seats in the 543 parliamentary constituencies, just shy of a majority.

State Performance

Arun Jaitley, who leads the party in India's upper house, believes above-average economic growth rates in the BJP-led states of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Madhya Pradesh is evidence his party can boost India's economy.

Those state economies grew at an average of 9.5% in the year to March 2012, against 6.2% countrywide, according to government data.

The BJP, buoyed by strong performance in November's state elections, can provide a stable government in a coalition, according to Jaitley.

However, the BJP's performance at the state level may not translate to success in governing the entire country, said Mohan Guruswamy, chairman of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in New Delhi.

"Mrs Thatcher won on the slogan of 'Labour can't govern - elect a government that rules," Arun Jaitley, a leading member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV India.

"That's the sentiment that exists in India. The whole country is disillusioned," he added.

"We'll have a government that's decisive and is willing to take decisions, even unpopular decisions," Jaitley said, adding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's populist measures would not garner enough votes. "You'll need to go back to 9% growth rates to bring prosperity to everybody."

"All of the states are under-performing, spending more than they're raising in revenue," said Guruswamy, an adviser to former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, who held the portfolio from 1998 to 2002 under BJP-led governments.

"That growth has been entirely dependent on the central government," Guruswamy told Bloomberg.

Stocks Down

India's benchmark S&P BSE Sensex finished 0.32% lower on 24 December. The rupee, which has lost 11% against the dollar so far this year, shed 0.26% to 61.795.

Asia's third-largest economy has expanded at a rate below 5% in the past four quarters amid surging consumer price inflation.

Weakening economic growth over several years and multiple graft scandals have dented Singh's coalition.

Thatcher Win

In 1979, the Thatcher election campaign condemned overspending, a plunging currency and record inflation in the UK that "has come near to destroying our political and social stability," she wrote in the Conservative General Election Manifesto in April that year.

"The reduction of waste, bureaucracy and over-government will also yield substantial savings."

Thatcher's Conservative party won 44% of the vote in 1979 and a majority in the House of Commons.