Modi claims victory in India's election but drop in support forces him to rely on coalition partners (2024)

Highlights from India’s election results: Catch up on AP’s coverage as results were tallied.

NEW DELHI (AP) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory for his alliance in India’s general election, claiming a mandate to move forward with his agenda, even though his party lost seats to a stronger than expected opposition, which pushed back against his mixed economic record and polarizing politics.

“Today’s victory is the victory of the world’s largest democracy,” Modi told the crowd at his party’s headquarters Tuesday, saying Indian voters had “shown immense faith” both in his party and his National Democratic Alliance coalition.

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Official results from India’s Election Commission on Wednesday showed the NDA won 294 seats, more than the 272 seats needed to secure a majority but far fewer than had been expected.

For the first time since his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party swept to power in 2014, it did not secure a majority on its own, winning 240 seats — far fewer than the record 303 it won in the 2019 election.

That means Modi will need the support of other parties in his coalition — a stunning blow for the 73-year-old, who had hoped for a landslide victory. During campaigning, Modi said his party would likely win 370 seats and his allies another 30 seats.


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He now depends on the support of key allies, including the Telugu Desam Party in southern Andhra Pradesh state with 16 seats and Janata Dal (United), which won 12 seats in eastern Bihar state, as well as smaller groups.

“Indian voters can’t be taken for granted,” said the Times of India newspaper in an editorial. “Voters have clearly indicated that jobs and economic aspirations matter. The economic message from the results is that jobs matter.”

The Congress party won 99 seats, improving its tally from 52 in the 2019 elections. Among its key allies, Samajwadi Party won 37 seats in northern Uttar Pradesh state in a major upset for the BJP; All India Trinamool Congress bagged 29 seats in West Bengal state; and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam 22 seats in southern Tamil Nadu state.

The opposition INDIA coalition won a total of 232 seats.

The BJP may now be “heavily dependent on the goodwill of its allies, which makes them critical players who we can expect will extract their pound of flesh, both in terms of policymaking as well as government formation,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“At the very least, the result pricks the bubble Prime Minister Modi’s authority. He made this election about himself,” said Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a political commentator. “Today, he is just another politician, cut to size by the people,” he said in an article in The Indian Express daily.

Modi claims victory in India's election but drop in support forces him to rely on coalition partners (4)

More than 640 million votes were cast in the marathon election held over a span of six weeks in the world’s largest democratic exercise.

In the face of the surprising drop in the BJP’s support, challengers claimed they had also won a victory of sorts, with the main opposition Congress party saying the election had been a “moral and political loss” for Modi.

“This is public’s victory and a win for democracy,” Congress party President Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters.

Despite the setback, Modi pledged to make good on his election promise to turn India’s economy into the world’s third biggest, from its current fifth place, and not shirk with pushing forward with his agenda.

He said he would advance India’s defense production, boost jobs for youth, raise exports and help farmers, among other things.

“This country will see a new chapter of big decisions. This is Modi’s guarantee,” he said, speaking in the third person.

Many of the Hindu nationalist policies he’s instituted over the last 10 years will also remain locked in place.

Modi’s win was only the second time an Indian leader has retained power for a third term after Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister. Before Modi came to power, India had coalition governments for 30 years.

Congratulations for Modi from leaders of regional countries including neighboring Nepal and Bhutan flowed in, while the White House commended India for its “vibrant democratic process.”

In his 10 years in power, Modi has transformed India’s political landscape, bringing Hindu nationalism, once a fringe ideology in India, into the mainstream while leaving the country deeply divided.

His supporters see him as a self-made, strong leader who has improved India’s standing in the world. His critics and opponents say his Hindu-first politics have bred intolerance while the economy, one of the world’s fastest-growing, has become more unequal.

For Payal, a resident of the northern city of Lucknow who uses only one name, the election was about the economy and India’s vast number of people living in poverty.

“People are suffering, there are no jobs, people are in such a state that their kids are compelled to make and sell tea on the roadside,” Payal said. “This is a big deal for us. If we don’t wake up now, when will we?”

Rahul Gandhi, the main face of the opposition Congress party, said he saw the election numbers as a message from the people.

“The poorest of this country have defended the constitution of India,” he told a news conference.

Modi’s popularity has outstripped that of his party’s during his first two terms in office, and he turned the parliamentary election into one that more resembled a presidential-style campaign, with the BJP relying on the leader’s brand.

“Modi was not just the prime campaigner, but the sole campaigner of this election,” said Yamini Aiyar, a public policy scholar.

Under Modi’s government, critics say India’s democracy has come under increasing strain with strong-arm tactics used to subdue political opponents, squeeze independent media and quash dissent. The government has rejected such accusations and says democracy is flourishing.

Economic discontent has also simmered under Modi. While stock markets have reached record-highs, youth unemployment has soared, with only a small portion of Indians benefitting from the boom.

As polls opened in mid-April, a confident BJP initially focused its campaign on “Modi’s guarantees,” highlighting the economic and welfare achievements that his party says have reduced poverty. With Modi at the helm, “India will become a developed nation by 2047,” he repeated in rally after rally.

But the campaign turned increasingly shrill, as Modi ramped up polarizing rhetoric that targeted Muslims, who make up 14% of the population, a tactic seen to energize his core Hindu majority voters.

The opposition INDIA alliance attacked Modi over his Hindu nationalist politics, and campaigned on issues of joblessness, inflation and inequality.

“These issues have resonated and made a dent,” added Aiyar, the public policy scholar.

Modi claims victory in India's election but drop in support forces him to rely on coalition partners (2024)


What changes did Modi bring to India? ›

Overall. The economic policies of Modi's government focused on privatization and liberalization of the economy, based on a neoliberal framework. Modi liberalized India's foreign direct investment policies, allowing more foreign investment in several industries, including in defense and the railways.

Who is 2024 PM in India? ›

India's Narendra Modi sworn in as country's prime minister for a third term. India Election 2024 News. Al Jazeera.

Who is PM now in India? ›

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has requested his supporters to remove the “Modi Ka Parivar” tagline from their social media handles. Shri Modi has expressed his gratitude to the people of India for their continued support.

How many years did the BJP rule in India? ›

Since 2014, it has been the ruling political party in India under the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

What have 10 years of Modi rule meant for India's economy? ›

Narendra Modi has kept India on its swift upward path among the world's largest economies. Many Indians are better off, though wealth gaps have widened.

How has India changed economically? ›

In some years, India has averaged rates of annual GDP growth above 6%-7%, and it has at times been the world's fastest growing major economy. India has emerged as a destination not only for major foreign firms for back-office and information technology (IT) services, but also for research and development.

Who became PM 3 times in India? ›

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Hindi pronunciation: [əʈəl bɪɦaːɾiː ʋaːdʒpai]; 25 December 1924 – 16 August 2018) was an Indian politician and poet who served three terms as the 10th Prime Minister of India, first for a term of 13 days in 1996, then for a period of 13 months from 1998 to 1999, followed by a full term from 1999 ...

Who is youngest PM in India? ›

At 40, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was the youngest Prime Minister of India, perhaps even one of the youngest elected heads of Government in the world.

Who is next to President in India? ›

Vice President Of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar

Hon'ble Vice-President, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar visiting the Pantnagar Museum highlighting the journey of G.B.

Who is no 1 pm in India? ›

PM's Profile

Shri Narendra Modi was sworn-in as India's Prime Minister on 30th May 2019, marking the start of his second term in office. The first ever Prime Minister to be born after Independence, Shri Modi has previously served as the Prime Minister of India from 2014 to 2019.

Who elected PM in India? ›

The prime minister is appointed by the president of India; however, the prime minister has to enjoy the confidence of the majority of Lok Sabha members, who are directly elected every five years, lest the prime minister shall resign.

Who is the chief minister of India? ›

Chief Ministers
StateChief Minister
AssamShri Himanta Biswa Sarma
BiharShri Nitish Kumar
ChhattisgarhShri Vishnu Deo Sai
Delhi (NCT)Shri Arvind Kejriwal
26 more rows

How many times has the BJP won in India? ›

Lok Sabha
YearLegislatureSeats won
199913th Lok Sabha182 / 545
200414th Lok Sabha138 / 543
200915th Lok Sabha116 / 543
201416th Lok Sabha282 / 543
7 more rows

How many times has Congress won in India? ›

Congress gained power in landslide victories in the general elections of 1951–52, 1957, and 1962.

What was the result of the election in 2024 in India? ›

Incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi's governing BJP won 240 seats, falling short of the 272-mark that indicates a majority in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's parliament, which has 543 seats in total.

What good things has Modi done for India? ›

  • Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao: Caring for the Girl Child. ...
  • Leveraging the Power of JAM: Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile. ...
  • A New Approach to Development: Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. ...
  • Unleashing India's Entrepreneurial Energy. ...
  • Namami Gange. ...
  • Powering India's Growth. ...
  • Putting the Indian Economy on a Fast-Track.

What did Prime Minister do for India? ›

The prime minister represents the country in various delegations, high level meetings and international organisations that require the attendance of the highest government office, and also addresses to the nation on various issues of national or other importance.

What did Manmohan Singh do for India? ›

A member of the Indian National Congress, Singh was the first Sikh prime minister of India. He was also the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term. Singh is also regarded as the most educated prime minister of India.

How many states have the NDA government in India? ›

S.No. As of 4th June, 2024 NDA have government in 19 States and 1 Union Territories. I.N.D.I.A alliance have government in 8 States and 1 Union Territory.

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