Indian Prime Minister Modi is inaugurated for a third term

Narendra Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister of India for the third time in a row. The Hindu nationalist, who has been in power since 2014, was sworn in for another five-year term on Sunday evening (local time) in front of President Draupadi Murmu's official residence in the capital New Delhi. His new cabinet members were then appointed. Modi is the country's second prime minister to serve a third term after Jawaharlal Nehru.

Modi's BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party – Indian People's Party) lost its absolute majority in the lower house in parliamentary elections for the first time in ten years, but remains the strongest force. He won 240 of the 543 seats up for election. To form the government, the BJP relied on its coalition partners – smaller regional parties – with whom it secured more than the 272 seats needed for a majority.

Focus on supporting poor community groups

Modi recently said his new government would focus on economic development and supporting the poor. During the election campaign, the BJP relied primarily on the cult of personality around Modi as a god-like leader. This propagates a Hindu nationalist agenda that states that India should be a country only for the Hindu majority, who make up 80 percent of the population.

The country, which is now the most populous in the world, has also developed into the fifth largest economic power in the world under Modi's leadership. However, only a small percentage benefited from this growth. According to official information, more than half of the population survives only on social assistance. Analysts point out that with their votes, the public is clearly demanding that Modi change course. His term of office is set for five years.

Ambrose Fernandez

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