Parliamentary elections in India: Narendra Modi's BJP loses absolute majority after ten years

In general elections in India, the ruling Prime Minister is a Hindu nationalist party Narendra Modi win even if you lose. After nearly 99 percent of the votes were counted, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 36.7 percent of the votes, election authorities announced. The BJP led by Modi suffered a significant defeat compared to the 2019 elections.

With this result, the ruling party has 239 seats in parliament and is unable to achieve an absolute majority in parliament for the first time in ten years. This requires at least 272 of the 543 seats.

Hence, the BJP is dependent on its coalition partners within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Based on partial results released by the Election Commission, the BJP-led NDA has at least 291 seats. This number is lower than what the BJP itself achieved five years ago, namely 303 seats.

Modi expressed satisfaction despite the loss. An alliance led by the Hindu nationalist BJP party will form the government for the third consecutive time, he said at the party headquarters. The government will increase defense production, create jobs for young people, increase exports and help farmers. “Today's victory is a victory for the largest democracy in the world,” he said.

Opposition parties almost doubled their results

Modi has now been re-elected in his constituency with a margin of 152,300 votes. Five years ago the difference was almost half a million votes.

Based on preliminary results, the opposition Congress party was able to double its parliamentary seats from 52 to 99 in the election. “The country has said to Narendra Modi: 'We don't want you,'” said party leader Rahul Gandhi. The Congress party so far has 52 seats in parliament. To improve his chances, he joined an Indian alliance with more than two dozen different parties.

968 million eligible voters – 66.3 percent of the electorate

The counting of more than 640 million votes is expected to take place throughout Tuesday. The general election, held over six weeks, is seen as a referendum on Modi and his policies. He had ruled for ten years.

Voter turnout was 66.3 percent, compared to 67.4 percent in 2019. The slightly lower turnout was also due to the heat wave India currently suffering. In Uttar Pradesh state alone, at least 33 poll workers died of heat stroke on Saturday, the final day of the general election.

That General elections in India is the largest in the world. As of Saturday, more than 968 million people had been called to vote over six weeks.

Modi aims to discriminate against Muslims

The Hindu nationalist actions carried out by Modi and his BJP, among other things, favor the Hindu population in India. Hindus make up 80 percent of India's 1.4 billion population. On the other hand, Muslims are increasingly experiencing discrimination. During the election campaign, Modi described his country's 210 million Muslim residents as “invaders.”

Even though India is considered the world's largest democracy, its democracy index performance is getting worse. The opposition also accused Modi of abusing government authority for his political purposes. His political rival, the head of the capital Delhi government, Arvind Kejriwal, is in prison. He was jailed on corruption charges in March, shortly before the general election began.

Ambrose Fernandez

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