The electoral success of the BJP in 2014 was hailed as the triumph of development over identity. The party seemingly reached beyond their traditional constituency and appealed to Dalit voters through an aspirational campaign. This tallies with arguments that electoral logic determines that the BJP will pursue a path of moderation. The past two years, however, have seen a significant increase in Dalit assertion and mobilisation in opposition to the BJP. This paper takes these two trends to raise to inter-related questions: firstly it questions the extent to which the BJP has moderated its attitudes towards Dalit citizens and secondly, it asks whether Dalit politics has indeed moved from identity to development. The paper draws on a range of secondary sources to argue that BJP moderation is delimited and that critiques of Dalit identity politics obscure both the identitarian strategies of other parties and the materiality of identity-based mobilisation.