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Indian Narendra Modi declares victory despite election blow

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (center) displays a victory sign as he arrives at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters to celebrate the party’s victory in the country’s general election, in New Delhi on June 4, 2024.

Arun Sankar | Afp | Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory in the country’s elections on Tuesday, although his party appears on the verge of losing its absolute majority, leaving it dependent on smaller regional parties.

The ongoing vote count suggests Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will likely win just 239 seats – down from 303 in 2019 – and will have to seek power-sharing deals to secure a historic third term.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is expected to win a total of 294 parliamentary seats, according to local media. You need at least 272 seats to form a government.

“People have placed their trust in the NDA, for the third time in a row! This is a historic feat in Indian history,” Modi said on X as the countdown neared its end.

Indian stocks fall after Modi's narrow election victory

He followed those remarks with a speech at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, saying “today’s victory is the victory of the world’s largest democracy,” according to an Associated Press translation.

Modi reportedly said in March that he was confident the NDA would get more than 400 seats.

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Modi reportedly told the crowd he would advance India’s defense production, employment of young adults and increase exports. “This country will see a new chapter of big decisions. This is Modi’s guarantee,” he said, according to AP.

India’s benchmark indices, the Nifty 50 and the BSE Sensex, plunged 8% on Tuesday as it became clear that the BJP may not secure a majority.

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—Charmaine Jacob of CNBC contributed to this article.

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