Third term without majority for Modi

Henry

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to face a difficult third term after his party failed to secure an outright majority in this year’s general election.

The final result of the election was finally announced on Tuesday after six long weeks.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost its outright parliamentary majority after a decade and two terms, but is still expected to be able to lead an alliance of smaller parties.

“Our third term will be one of great decisions and the country will write a new chapter of development. This is Modi’s guarantee,” Modi told a cheering crowd of supporters in the capital, New Delhi, as Hindu faithful celebrated across the country.

The BJP won 240 seats in parliament, far below the 303 of five years ago.

The Congress Party, the leading opposition in India, walked out of this year’s election with 99 seats. This is almost double the 52 seats this party won in 2019.

“The country has told Narendra Modi ‘We don’t want you,'” opposition leader Rahul Gandhi told reporters.

“I was confident that the people of this country would respond properly.”

This comes after commentators and opinion polls predicted a landslide victory for Modi.

Modi was re-elected by a much smaller margin of 152,300 votes, compared to nearly half a million votes five years ago.

The BJP is henceforth dependent on coalition partners to pass any policy in the country’s parliament.

“The possibility that they could at any time use their influence, reinforced by feelers already out by the Congress and other opposition parties, will be a constant worry for the BJP,” reports the Times of India.

It is now Modi’s “fate to work with an alliance partner … who can withdraw at any time”, writes the magazine’s political editor Hartosh Singh Bal The Caravanin New Delhi.