Modi wins but loses majority: How will this shape his 3rd term?

India’s political landscape has been an interesting one for the past few months from propagandas, to campaign promises, and the election which was held for 44 days.

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FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks on after speaking with media inside the parliament premises upon his arrival on the first day of the budget session in New Delhi, India, January 31, 2024. REUTERS/Altaf Hussain//File Photo

India’s political landscape has been an interesting one for the past few months from propagandas, to campaign promises, and the election which was held for 44 days.

The leader of India’s incumbent BJP, Narendra Modi, emerged winner of the just ended highly contested elections. However, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) no longer holds a majority in Congress indicating a complex political landscape ahead. But what wrong for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) despite analysts predicting a bigger win for Modi who has been in office since 2014?

The arguments

Modi’s rule appeared uncontested on the surface. With the approval of 21 leaders, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) overwhelmingly chose him to be their next alliance head. Modi expressed his sincere gratitude and reaffirmed his dedication to helping the country’s underprivileged, women, young, farmers, and marginalised areas. However, there are cracks starting to show through this display of solidarity.

The opposition strikes back

During the INDIA bloc meeting, Congressman Mallikarjun Kharge did not hold back when he called the election results a moral setback for Modi. Kharge, expressing rising discontent with Modi’s policies and manner of governing, accused the Prime Minister of trying to subvert the will of the people.

Regional ripples and public sentiment

In Tamil Nadu, BJP chief K. Annamalai acknowledged the party’s mixed performance. While the BJP’s vote share improved, they failed to secure a single parliamentary seat. In Mumbai, voters like Seema Khan voiced their frustrations, criticizing Modi’s tenure for rising religious conflicts, unemployment, and a disconnect from everyday citizens. “Modi has lost the aura he once had,” Khan lamented.

The return of coalition politics

For political experts, this election signals a return to coalition politics in India. They argue that the BJP will need to adopt a more consultative and deliberative approach with its allies, moving away from its previously dominant stance. This means that this shift will mark a significant change in India’s political landscape.

The road ahead

For the BJP, the future necessitates introspection and action. Furthermore, addressing their weaknesses, particularly in employment and inflation, will be critical. On the other hand, the opposition, now energised, presents a difficult challenge. Analysts have suggested that Modi’s leadership, while still effective, must adapt to an increasingly fractured and competitive political landscape.

The facts

Despite exit polls that predicted a BJP victory, the opposition parties made substantial gains that reduced the BJP’s number of seats from 303 to 240.

The BJP lost its majority in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, reducing its seats from 303 to 240. Together with coalition partners, the BJP will retain a slim majority of 21 seats.

Modi’s leadership style and voter dissatisfaction with economic difficulties were major factors in this election result. This, among many other factors led to the opposition’s growing strength and the party’s declining domination point to a move towards more cooperative governance.

But in a meeting on Wednesday, June 5, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) unanimously re-elected Modi as their leader, with 21 leaders signing the resolution.

The leaders stated in the resolution the alliance government’s dedication to helping the underprivileged, women, youth, farmers, and other needy groups in society.

“We are all proud that the NDA fought the 2024 Lok Sabha polls unitedly under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and won. We all NDA leaders unanimously elect Narendra Modi as our leader,” it stated in a report by the Times of India.

Modi also expressed heartfelt gratitude to his allies, reaffirming his commitment to the poor, women, youth, farmers, and marginalized communities.

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