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India elections turn out to be closer than expected, Modi Lead Narrows

Narendra Modi is on track to secure a historic third term as Indian prime minister, but with a narrower victory than expected.

A coalition led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to win around 300 seats in India’s parliament, lower than the 400 seats it had hoped to win in some exit polls, Reuters reported Tuesday morning.

The opposition INDIA alliance, led by the centrist Congress Party, is expected to make progress and win around 220 seats, according to the report. In the Indian Parliament, a party or coalition that wins 272 seats can form the government.

Final votes took place on Saturday in the seventh phase of the election, in which residents of eight of India’s 36 states and territories took turns to vote.

Modi expected a landslide

Modi and the BJP were expected to win decisively for a long time. Exit polls, while sometimes inconsistent, showed the party expanding its control over the lower house.

Modi had set a target for his BJP-led alliance to secure 400 seats, up from around 350 in 2019.


Supporters of Narendra Modi carry his cutouts as they celebrate the vote counting results for the Indian general election in Varanasi on June 4, 2024.

Supporters of Narendra Modi carry his cutouts as they celebrate the results of India’s general elections in Varanasi on June 4, 2024.

NIHARIKA KULKARNI/Getty Images



The outgoing president was so assured of being re-elected this year that he declared his victory on social media three days before the official announcement of the results on Tuesday.

“I can say with certainty that the people of India voted in record numbers to re-elect the NDA government,” he said. written the.

A bitter battle for power

The week-long election gave rise to a bitter feud between the BJP and its main opposition, the Congress Party.

The Congress Party formed its own bloc with about 20 opposition groups to oust Modi, campaigning on promises to ease the country’s unemployment problems. However, the new alliance is undermined by ideological differences and contested leadership.

Modi, a polarizing but popular leader, spent much of the election criticizing Congress and promised policies with controversial attacks. At one point, he accused the opposition of planning to take India’s wealth and redistribute it to the Muslim minority.


Indian National Congress (INC) supporters react to early general election results at the party's headquarters in New Delhi, India, June 4, 2024.

Indian National Congress supporters react to early general election results at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi, India, June 4, 2024.

REUTERS/Priyanshu Singh



Although he did not specifically criticize Muslims in his rally speeches, he used terms such as “infiltrators” that are widely seen as referring to the minority.

His party’s ideology, Hindutva, promotes Hindu nation-building and has been criticized as a nationalist movement that foments hate speech and right-wing extremism.

The BJP’s rivals have also accused the party of trying to stifle opposition leaders. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party was recently arrested for corruption in connection with the distribution of liquor licenses. Kejriwal was released on bail until the end of the elections.

India’s voting population is the largest in the world, with 969 million people eligible to vote. This represents more than double the total population of the European Union.

businessinsider

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