The right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won its second consecutive Indian election by a large margin.

By David Walker


Posted on May 24, 2019

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has become the most powerful Indian political figure in 35 years, winning re-election in a landslide.

The Prime Minister led his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to secure a parliamentary majority in its own right, although it will govern in alliance with several minor parties. His campaign stressed national security, focusing on a February air strike against a supposed terrorist base in Pakistan.

The win gives Modi the freedom to enact economic reforms and continue moving India away from the more secular approach of previous governments. Critics fear he will align the Indian state too closely with the dominant Hindu religion.

In a 45-minute speech, Modi said the victory meant “a promise of a new India”.

The result is a crushing loss for the Congress party, the party of Ghandi and Nehru which has headed the central government for much of India’s post-independence history. Congress head Rahul Gandhi said he accepted the verdict of India’s people, after losing his own northern Indian seat to the BJP.

The BJP was projected to win 303 of the 542 seats in the Lok Sabha (House of the People), where Indian governments are formed. With its National Democratic Alliance partners, it may hold close to 350 seats.

The win is larger than most observers had expected. It’s the first time since 1984 that a party has won more than 300 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Many business figures hope Modi and the BJP will now pass market-oriented reforms that he has promised but, so far, not delivered.

In his first term, Modi made administrative reforms, overhauled the tax system and built rail, power and sewage infrastructure. But many business figures say he has done too little to reform the labour market and agriculture sector to boost economic growth and create jobs.

The CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Uday Kotak, tweeted: “Time for transformation of India. Time for deep reform. I dream of us as a global superpower in my lifetime.”

US president Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan all congratulated Modi on his win.