India's Modi set to win historic third term

Modi says people have placed their faith in the BJP-led coalition for a third time and it is historic


Reuters June 04, 2024
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi, India, June 4, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI:

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, lost its outright majority for the first time in a decade but he is still expected to retain power at the head of a ruling coalition after winning a historic landmark third term.

However in this rare electoral setback for Modi as he is expected to take power with a slim marjority, the BJP party is dependent upon its regional allies to get past the half way mark to run the world's largest democracy. This marks a shift in the country's politcal landscape.

"This is a win for the world's largest democracy" Modi stated while addressing crowds after his party third consecutive democratc win. He expressed he is forever indebted to his countrymen for their trust and blessings on this auspicious Tuesday as the National democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to make a government for the third consecutive time.

 He also showcased his gratitude to the voters for placing their trust in the BJP 

Read also: India election throws up surprise as Modi's alliance scrapes past majority

However, Modi's own victory in his seat of Varanasi, considered one of the holiest cities for Hindus, was subdued, with his margin of victory down from nearly 500,000 votes at the last general election in 2019 to a little over 150,000.

But this reduced victory may not necessarily mean reform paralysis, the chairman of a government finance panel, Arvind Panagariya, said in an editorial in the Economic Times newspaper.

PHOTO: REUTERS

"Despite the reduced majority in parliament, the necessary reforms are entirely feasible. Delivering sustained growth at a accelerated pace can only strengthen the government's hand in the coming years," he said.

The opposition INDIA alliance led by Rahul Gandhi's centrist Congress party won 230 seats, more than forecast. Congress alone won 99, almost double the 52 it won in 2019 - a surprise jump that is expected to boost Gandhi's standing.

The INDIA alliance was also expected to meet on Wednesday in New Delhi, and discuss a future course of action.

But any efforts at government formation by the opposition were likely stymied by two of the BJP's key allies endorsing Modi and saying their pre-poll alliance with the party was intact.

Rahul Gandhi, a senior leader of India's main opposition Congress party, waves as he arrives at the party headquarters in New Delhi, India, June 4, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS

 

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