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Modi declares victory in the Indian polls, but the party loses its majority

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Incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party has declared victory in India’s parliamentary elections, but with most votes counted, his Hindu nationalist party will lose its parliamentary majority, according to preliminary results.

The country’s people had “expressed their confidence in his ruling coalition for the third time in a row,” Modi wrote on social media platform X on Tuesday evening.

Although Modi’s Bharatiya Janata (Indian People’s Party) (BJP) received the most votes, it will have to rely on its two coalition partners to form a government.

It is considered certain that Modi can continue to rule for a third five-year term, but Rahul Gandhi of the opposition Congress did not rule out talks with two of Modi’s coalition partners.

“I am extremely proud of the people of India,” Gandhi said, adding that the country’s people had clearly shown that they rejected Modi as head of government.

The stock market suffered its biggest losses in four years in response to Modi’s setback.

Modi’s BJP alone had won 303 seats in the previous elections, well above the 272-seat majority needed to govern. Five years ago, it and its allies won 353 seats, a huge majority.

Before these elections, Modi had set the bar high for election campaign success. He predicted that the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, led by Modi’s BJP, would win more than 400 of the 543 seats in the lower house and expand its majority.

Instead, he has failed to achieve this goal.

Nevertheless, Modi was expected to become only the second prime minister in the country’s history to rule for three consecutive terms, after Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first.

Because India is the most populous country in the world, the elections to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, were the largest elections in the world, lasting about six weeks. Nearly 970 million people were eligible to vote.

The BJP has taken a strong Hindu nationalist stance. Critics and the opposition feared that if Modi is re-elected, he could try to change the South Asian country’s constitution to further consolidate this course.

The opposition has consistently warned that democracy is weakening under Modi’s leadership. During the election campaign, several opposition politicians were arrested on corruption charges.

Modi claims all positive developments in the country and emphasizes India’s growing importance on the world stage.

In response to China’s increasing aggression, Germany, the US and other Western countries are seeking closer ties with India.

Critics argue that these countries are ignoring the fact that India remains neutral in the war in Ukraine, buys a significant amount of cheap Russian oil and maintains strong ties with Moscow.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures during his speech at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters amid the Indian general election results in New Delhi. Kabir Jhangiani/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures during his speech at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters amid the Indian general election results in New Delhi. Kabir Jhangiani/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

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