Modi wins election, party falls short of mandate

The BJP secured 240 seats, while the National Democratic Alliance's total is around 292

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory as his coalition secured over half of the parliamentary seats, positioning him for a historic third consecutive term, the first in over 60 years. (Photo by Elke Scholiers/Getty Images)

INDIAN PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi declared victory as his coalition secured more than half of the parliamentary seats, setting him on course for a third consecutive term — the first in over 60 years.

This follows a six-week-long election in which nearly 1 billion people were eligible to vote.

“The National Democratic Alliance is going to form the government for the third time,” Modi said in a speech at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in New Delhi. “We are grateful to the people. This is a victory for the world’s largest democracy.”

However, BJP’s celebrations seem relatively muted.

Asian Hospitality
India’s 2024 general election, the world’s largest democratic exercise, with over 969 million registered voters, came to an end after being held in seven separate phases, covering the entire country from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, with an estimated 15 million polling staff and security personnel. The election cost $14.4 billion, making it the world’s most expensive. The election has been a test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which has traded on its Hindu-majoritarian credentials in an effort to win a bigger share of the national vote. (Photo by Elke Scholiers/Getty Images)

Modi’s alliance had set a bullish target of winning 400 out of 543 parliamentary seats. While the BJP secured 240 seats, the NDA alliance’s total is approximately 292, according to India’s election commission. The I.N.D.I.A coalition of opposition parties picked up 234 seats, defying exit polls that predicted a much lower tally.

India’s stock market plunged to a four-year low on news that the governing alliance was winning by a narrower margin than expected, potentially making it harder to pass legislation.

The Indian prime minister received a warm welcome from the American diaspora community during his state visit from June 21 to 23, 2023, strengthening bilateral relations between India and the U.S.

Modi commended the significant contributions of Indian Americans to their host nation and the India-U.S. relationship during a state dinner hosted by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.