Econintersect: Narenda Modi has declared victory as his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to have won a landslide victory. Mr. Modi used Twitter to make his statement: “India has won. [In Hindi] Good days are here again.” In results completed thus far, BJP was leading in 269 compared to just 49 for the former ruling Congress Party, according to the Financial Times. Reuters has reported that BJP has won 278 seats outright, more than 272 seats needed for a majority, eliminating the need for any minor party alliance(s). However several minor party electees have pledged support to BJP bringing the coalition total to 332 seats, a mjority of 61%.
According to The Guardian, 563 million voted in the election, more than 10% higher than about 500 million expected. The sweeping victory ws the largest landslide in India in 30 years. Modi, 63, becomes the first prime minister of India borm after the country became independent in 1947.
There have been concerns that Modi may be a divisive leader because of riots in Gujarat state in 2002 (the year after he was elected chief minister) which led to the deaths of more than 1,000 Muslims. One of his early challenges will be to deal with that episode and convince the country that he can be prime minister for all Indians of any religion.
Modi will also be watched closely to see how he deals with rampant corruption in government throughout the country, what he can do to control inflation, and how he can stabilize the rupee, the nation’s currency, which has fluctuated widely over the past year.
- Congress concedes defeat as BJP prepares for power in India (Victor Mallet, Amy Kazmin and James Crabtree, Financial Times, 16 May 2014)
- Indian election 2014 results: Modi and BJP secure massive victory – live (Oliver Laughland and Matthew Weaver, The Guardian, 16 May 2014)
- Modi wins India’s election with a landslide, early results show (Sruthi Gottipatti and Shyamantha Asokan, Reuters, 16 May 2014)