Narendra Modi Retains Power in Tight Election, BJP Loses Majority – South Asia Time

Narendra Modi Retains Power in Tight Election, BJP Loses Majority

 June 5, 2024  

London — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won a third consecutive term in office after a much tighter general election than anticipated. Despite retaining leadership, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost its outright parliamentary majority for the first time in a decade.

The BJP fell short of the required 272 seats in the 543-seat parliament but remains the leading party. Its coalition partners have gained additional seats, ensuring that Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) bloc can still form a government with a total of 293 seats.

This election result is a personal setback for Modi, who has previously secured clear majorities in both his terms as prime minister and during his tenure as chief minister of Gujarat. His dominance in Indian politics over the past decade faced an unexpected challenge from the Congress Party-led INDIA opposition alliance, which secured 232 seats. The opposition’s performance defied earlier predictions and sharply diverged from exit polls and pre-election surveys.

In his victory speech, Modi thanked voters for their mandate and pledged to “do everything” to eradicate corruption and poverty. Despite the results, the INDIA alliance has not conceded defeat and is set to meet today to decide their next steps.

The world’s largest democratic exercise saw over 640 million people cast their votes in a marathon seven-week election, described as a “world record” by election authorities. Nearly half of the voters were women, reflecting a significant participation in this historic electoral process.