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.

Over 50 countries go to the polls in 2024

  • The year will test even the most robust democracies. Read more on what’s to come here.
  • Take a look at the 25 places where a change in leadership could resonate around the world.
  • Keep track of the latest AP elections coverage from around the world here.

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.

Over 50 countries go to the polls in 2024

  • The year will test even the most robust democracies. Read more on what’s to come here.
  • Take a look at the 25 places where a change in leadership could resonate around the world.
  • Keep track of the latest AP elections coverage from around the world here.

“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)


Who is PM in 2024 of India? ›

India's Modi to take oath as PM for third term with coalition allies. India Election 2024 News.

How is the prime minister elected in India? ›

The prime minister is the leader elected by the party with a majority in the lower house of the Indian parliament, the Lok Sabha, which is the main legislative body in the Republic of India. The prime minister and their cabinet are at all times responsible to the Lok Sabha.

What did Congress do for India? ›

The Congress led India to independence from the United Kingdom, and significantly influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire. The INC is a "big tent" party and sits on the centre of Indian political spectrum. The Party held its first session in 1885 in Bombay where W.C.

Who is the new Prime Minister in India? ›

Modi is the 14th and current prime minister of India, serving since 26 May 2014.

Who became PM 3 times in India? ›

The 1999 general elections were held in the aftermath of the Kargil operations. The BJP-led NDA won 303 seats out of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, securing a comfortable and stable majority. On 13 October 1999, Vajpayee took oath as the prime minister of India for the third time.

Who is next to President in India? ›

Vice President Of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Who was the longest serving prime minister? ›

Notable lengths
  • 20 years and 314 days: Robert Walpole (1721–1742) Longest term and longest total tenure.
  • 12 years and 126 days: William Ewart Gladstone (1868–1874, 1880–1885, 1886, and 1892–1894) Most non-consecutive terms.
  • 11 years and 208 days: Margaret Thatcher (1979–1990) ...
  • 49 days: Liz Truss (2022)

Which President did not serve as vice president in India? ›

From the table, it is clear that Neelam Sanjiva Reddy did NOT serve as Vice President before assuming the office of the President of India. The only unopposed President of India, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy became the President in 1977.

Is prime minister same as President in India? ›

The term president usually refers to the head of state of a country that is a republic. A prime minister is the leader of the government of a country with a parliamentary system of government that is either a constitutional monarchy (Australia) or a republic (India and Taiwan).

Who were the moderates of India? ›

The Early Nationalists, also known as the Moderates, were a group of political leaders in India active between 1885 and 1907. Their emergence marked the beginning of the organised national movement in India. Some of the important moderate leaders were Pherozeshah Mehta and Dadabhai Naoroji.

What is the name of the largest political party in India? ›

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP; [bʱaːɾətiːjə dʒənətaː paːrtiː]; lit. 'Indian People's Party') is a political party in India and one of the two major Indian political parties alongside the Indian National Congress.

Who invented Congress in India? ›

Formation and early days (1885–1905) Retired British Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer Allan Octavian Hume founded the Indian National Congress in order to form a platform for civil and political dialogue among educated Indians.

Can a Prime Minister serve three terms in India? ›

There is no limit to the amount of time that somebody can be Prime Minister.

Who is the 1st CM of India? ›

Answer and Explanation: The first chief minister in India was Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant. He became the CM of United Provinces ( now called Uttar Pradesh) first in 1937 and later in 1950.

Who is the most followed Indian politician on Instagram? ›

Narendra Modi is the most-followed world leader, head of government and politician on Instagram, with over 90.7 million followers.

Who are the new ministers in India? ›

NoCabinet, MoS MinistersPortfolios
5JP NaddaMinister of Health; and Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers
6Shivraj Singh ChouhanMinister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Minister of Rural Development
7Nirmala SitharamanMinister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs
8S JaishankarMinistry of External Affairs
76 more rows
Jun 10, 2024

Which president ruled for many years in India? ›

Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first president of India. He is also the longest serving president of India from 1950-62. A lawyer by profession, Dr.

Who is the chief minister of India? ›

List of chief ministers
State/UTNameTook office (tenure length)
AssamHimanta Biswa Sarma10 May 2021 (3 years, 36 days)
BiharNitish Kumar22 February 2015 (9 years, 114 days)
ChhattisgarhVishnudeo Sai13 December 2023 (185 days)
DelhiArvind Kejriwal14 February 2015 (9 years, 122 days)
27 more rows

Who is the prime minister? ›

Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister on 25 October 2022. He was previously appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer from 13 February 2020 to 5 July 2022.


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