Narendra Modi secures third term as Prime Minister despite BJP’s reduced majority

Narendra Modi - Prime Minister of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory for his alliance in India’s general election on Tuesday (June 04).

Despite a weaker performance from his own party and a stronger challenge from the opposition, Modi announced that his National Democratic Alliance would form the government for the third consecutive time, stating that Indian voters had “shown immense faith” in his party and coalition.

“Today’s victory is the victory of the world’s largest democracy,” he told supporters at his party’s headquarters.

For the first time since Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in 2014, it seems unlikely the party will secure a majority on its own. Modi will need support from other coalition parties for his third five-year term in office. This result is a setback for the 73-year-old, who had hoped for a landslide victory. However, many of the Hindu nationalist policies he implemented over the past decade remain intact.

Modi vowed to fulfill his election promises, including advancing India’s economy from the world’s fifth to the third largest, boosting defense production, creating jobs for youth, raising exports, and supporting farmers. “This country will see a new chapter of big decisions. This is Modi’s guarantee,” he said.

The opposition also claimed a sort of victory, with the Congress party calling the election a “moral and political loss” for Modi. “This is the public’s victory and a win for democracy,” said Congress party President Mallikarjun Kharge.

During his 10 years in power, Modi has transformed India’s political landscape by bringing Hindu nationalism into the mainstream, leaving the country deeply divided. His supporters view him as a strong, self-made leader who has improved India’s global standing. Critics argue that his Hindu-first politics have fostered intolerance, and while the economy has grown, it has also become more unequal.

The counting of over 640 million votes cast over six weeks was expected to continue into the night. After 12 hours of counting, partial tallies from India’s Election Commission showed Modi’s BJP ahead in 114 constituencies and winning 126 out of 543 parliamentary seats. The Congress party led in 45 constituencies and won 54 seats.

A total of 272 seats are needed for a majority. In 2019, the BJP won 303 seats and 282 in 2014. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance led in 147 constituencies and won 139, while the Congress-led INDIA alliance led in 131 constituencies and won 99. The Election Commission does not release data on the percentage of votes tallied.