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India: without an absolute majority, Modi finds an agreement for a government coalition

The Hindu nationalist party of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed on Wednesday with its allies to form a government coalition, after legislative elections where ; he did not succeed in doing so. obtain a majority absolute.

“We have all unanimously chosen the respected leader of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Narendra Modi, as leader”, we can read in the press release of this alliance including small parties, published by Mr. Modi's Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The NDA Government, under the leadership of Mr. Modi, is committed to serving the poor, women, youth, farmers and the exploited, deprived and oppressed citizens of India,” it added.< /p>

The 15 allied parties total 293 seats in Parliament, thus gaining control.

The day after an unexpected electoral setback for Mr. Modi's BJP, the latter risks a third term more difficult than expected.

“This will force Modi to adopt the views of others – we will see more democracy and a healthy parliament,” said Nilanajan Mukhopadhyay, author of a biography of the Prime Minister. “He is going to have to be the leader he never was. We are going to see a new Modi.”

According to Indian media, the Prime Minister should take the oath of office Saturday.

– “India takes down Modi” –

“India takes down Modi”, headline Wednesday on the front page of the daily The Telegraph. The online newspaper Mint mocked “The Karma Coalition”.

Some 642 million Indians voted in this election organized over six weeks.

The 73-year-old leader celebrated the victory on Tuesday evening, believing that the result of the election allowed him to pursue his program, while his supporters celebrated event throughout the country.

“This third mandate will be one of major decisions. The country will write a new chapter in its development. I guarantee it”, declared Mr. Modi in front of a cheering crowd in the capital, New Delhi.

For Govind Singh, a 38-year-old optometrist, “a strong opposition is necessary” but the government must having a parliamentary majority, “this is essential for any country”.

– “Constant worry” –

The BJP won 240 seats in Parliament, 32 seats short of an absolute majority and significantly below the 303 seats won in 2019.

India: without an absolute majority, Modi finds an agreement for a government coalition

Narendra Modi in Chennai on April 9, 2024 © AFP – R. Satish BABU

Against all expectations, the Congress, the main opposition party, acquired 99 seats, almost doubling its 2019 score (52 seats). Party president Mallikarjun Kharge said the poll result was a vote against Modi “and the substance and style of his policies.”

“The country told Narendra Modi: +We don't want you+”, welcomed the leader of the opposition, Rahul Gandhi, re-elected handily in the southern constituency of Wayanad.

Most analysts and exit polls had predicted the triumph of Narendra Modi, accused by his detractors of exploiting justice with the imprisonment of opposition leaders and of flouting in particular the rights of religious minorities, including more than 200 million Muslim Indians.

The Prime Minister was re-elected in his constituency of Varanasi with a much smaller margin than five years ago.

Now dependent on its coalition allies, the BJP will have to seek consensus to get its texts voted on in Parliament.

“The possibility of them using their influence, encouraged by proposals from the Congress party and other members of the opposition, will be a source of concern constant for the BJP”, underlines the daily Times of India.

According to Hartosh Singh Bal, political journalist for The Caravan magazine, Mr. Modi must now “work with his partners (…) who can withdraw at any time” .

– “Moral defeat” –

The opposition struggled in the face of the powerful BJP campaign machine , abundantly financed, and legal proceedings against several of its leaders but the results made him smile.

India: without an absolute majority, Modi finds an agreement for a government coalition

Alliances in the Indian Parliament elected in 2024 © AFP – STAFF

“The BJP failed to obtain a large majority on its own,” Congress MP Rajeev Shukla told reporters on Tuesday evening. “It’s a moral defeat for them.”

The Muslim minority has expressed concern for its future and that of India's secular Constitution, which the Hindu nationalist agenda appears to threaten.

Neighboring rival China on Wednesday congratulated the coalition led by Narendra Modi, declaring itself “ready to work” with India.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin telephoned Mr. Modi and “warmly congratulated him,” according to the Kremlin.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also congratulated his Indian counterpart and wished him “all the best”, according to Downing Street.

A little earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had presented his congratulations to Mr. Modi by emphasizing “the weight and importance of India in world affairs”.


All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116