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India’s 2024 Election Takeaways: Modi Struggles to Stay on Top

WorldIndia’s 2024 Election Takeaways: Modi Struggles to Stay on Top

Narendra Modi’s first decade as India’s prime minister came with its fair share of surprises. None, however, looked anything like what happened on Tuesday morning when he won his second re-election, but lost his party’s majority in Parliament.

With that loss, Mr. Modi’s air of invincibility also appeared to be fading for the first time since he took office in 2014.

The election results were especially shocking because, after nearly seven sweaty weeks of voting across the country, exit polls released just days before the final tally showed that Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party would win in a landslide, as it had twice before.

Instead, the Bharatiya Janata Party won only 239 seats, well short of the 272 needed to form a government. The opposition alliance, led by the Indian National Congress Party, took 235 seats.

With the 52 seats won by B.J.P. allies, Mr. Modi will remain on top. But his allure has been diminished, and his leadership has fundamentally changed.

When Mr. Modi came to power in 2014, he promised economic progress, an end to corruption and to promote Hinduism as being central to India’s identity. Through it all, he presented himself as a uniquely strong leader, capable of marshaling his followers to work for the nation.

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