Modi Navigates Coalition Puzzle After BJP Falls Short in Surprise Election

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with allies to form a government after the BJP fell short of a majority in the recent election, securing 240 seats. With the National Democratic Alliance securing 293 seats, Modi aims to form a coalition. Opposition gains may strengthen Rahul Gandhi's Congress party.

Reuters | Mumbai | Updated: 05-06-2024 08:47 IST | Created: 05-06-2024 08:47 IST
Modi Navigates Coalition Puzzle After BJP Falls Short in Surprise Election
Narendra Modi
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was set to meet his allies on Wednesday to discuss forming the government, a day after his Hindu nationalist party lost its outright majority in parliament in a surprise election verdict. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 240 seats on its own in the general election, 32 short of the halfway mark in the 543-member decision-making lower house, according to official results announced late on Tuesday.

The outcome unnerved investors, with stocks falling steeply on Tuesday, since Modi would have to depend on at least disparate regional parties whose political loyalties have wavered over the years. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP won 293 seats, more than 20 ahead of the 272 needed to form a government.

The opposition INDIA alliance led by Rahul Gandhi's centrist Congress party won 230 seats, more than forecast. Congress alone won 99, almost double the 52 it won in 2019 - a surprise jump that is expected to boost Gandhi's standing. The INDIA alliance was also expected to meet on Wednesday in New Delhi, and discuss a future course of action.

But any efforts at government formation by the opposition were likely stymied by two of the BJP's key allies endorsing Modi and saying their pre-poll alliance with the party was intact. Addressing a crowd of cheering party workers at the party headquarters late on Tuesday evening, Modi promised to work harder in his third term.

"The blessings of the people for the third time after 10 years boosts our morale, gives new strength," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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