India’s Modi wins historic third term in bittersweet victory as the world’s biggest democratic elections spring a surprise

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won a historic third term in the world’s biggest democratic elections, a feat only achieved by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru before him. The ruling BJP led NDA has won 293 seats in the 543 seat Indian Parliament. The number required for a simple majority is 272.

(Image: BJP / X)

On the other hand the Congress which was leading the opposition I.N.D.I. Alliance has got 99 seats. Even though this is almost double the number of seats they got in the last elections and much better than their lowest ever score of 44 in 2014, this is the third straight defeat for the Congress party and one of its worst performances ever since India’s Independence. The alliance itself has got 232 seats.

However, in spite of winning a third term, the BJP has not secured a majority on their own this time unlike in the 2014 and 2019 elections. The BJP has got 240 seats this time, down 63 seats from last elections. Hence a surreal situation has emerged where the supporters of the winning party seem to be distraught while the supporters of the losing alliance seem to be rejoicing.

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(Image: Congress / X)

A tweet by well known commentator Dr Anand Ranganathan sums up this sentiment.

Most opinion polls and then exit polls gave BJP a majority on its own and the NDA alliance a thumping majority like the last time. Given the weight of these expectations, the results surprised everyone including the Indian stock market. The BSE Sensex crashed over 4000 points (5.74%) while the Nifty was down over 1300 points (5.93%). The profession of psephology also took a beating as most of the exit polls were way off the mark.

The real surprise in these elections were the results from India’s biggest state (population wise) Uttar Pradesh. In the last election the BJP won 62 seats there but this time that figure is down to 33. The BJP in fact even lost the seat of Faizabad which includes Ayodhya, where Mr Modi recently inaugurated a Temple dedicated to Lord Ram, 500 years after it was demolished by invaders at the same site.

But on the brighter side for the BJP they swept the eastern state of Odisha where they won 20 out of 21 seats and have also won the state assembly elections ending the 24-year-old rule of Naveen Patnaik and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

The two N’s, leader of the Telgu Desam Party (TDP), N. Chandrababu Naidu and Janta Dal United (JDU), Nitish Kumar have become important players of the NDA Alliance with 16 and 12 seats in their kitty. TDP has also swept the assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and is forming the next government in the state.

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As the final figures of elections in the world’s biggest liberal, secular, democracy come in, the fake propaganda about India turning into an “electoral autocracy” by certain vested interests within India and abroad will hopefully be laid to rest given these results.

According to the Election Commission of India over 640 million people (out of the almost billion eligible voters) cast their votes for the Indian General elections.