Modi in landslide election win | Daily News

Modi in landslide election win

Indian Prime  Minister Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

INDIA: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday won a landslide victory in the world’s largest election, with early trends suggesting an even bigger win for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) than in 2014.

With around half the 600 million votes cast counted, Election Commission data showed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning over 300 of India’s 543 elected lower house seats.

This would push the BJP over the 272 seats needed for a majority, defying some predictions and surpassing 2014 when Modi swept to power with 282 seats, the first parliamentary majority for a single party in 30 years in the country of 1.3 billion people.

The BJP’s main rivals Congress were on just 49 seats, with Rahul Gandhi -- the great-grandson, grandson and son of three premiers -- in danger of a humiliating loss in the seat held by India’s once-mighty political dynasty for generations.

“Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!,” Modi tweeted as the outcome of the world’s biggest election became clear.

The preliminary count predicts a commanding majority in the lower house for the BJP and its allies, who are on course for almost 50 additional seats.

They will still lack a majority in the upper house, however, putting a brake on Modi’s legislative agenda.

“Today’s mandate... shows that people of India have entirely uprooted casteism, nepotism and appeasement to choose nationalism and development,” tweeted BJP president Amit Shah, in a swipe at Congress and Gandhi. Celebrations broke out at BJP offices including in Mumbai where a few hundred party supporters and workers danced, played drums, chanted slogans and waved party flags. At Congress headquarters in Delhi, a handful of dejected supporters sat in groups under the shade of trees.

“We are sad but we will rise again. Modi won because of his lies and false promises. The country is in danger now,” Rajesh Tiwari, a Congress supporter, told AFP.

India’s main Sensex index breached the 40,000-point level for the first time as the count pointed to a Modi win, following strong gains since Monday.

“Time for transformation of India. Time for deep reform. I dream of us as a global superpower in my lifetime,” tweeted India’s richest banker, Uday Kotak, as he congratulated Modi.

The vast size of India -- stretching from the Himalayas to the tropics, taking in megacities, deserts and jungles -- made the election a marathon six-week endeavour.

The campaign, estimated to have cost more than $7 billion, was awash with insults -- Modi was likened to Hitler and a “gutter insect” -- as well as fake news in Facebook and WhatsApp’s biggest markets. Gandhi, 48, tried several lines of attack against Modi,but Thursday’s count showed his party had failed to bounce back from its historic drubbing in the 2014 polls.

“The Congress is a disaster. It hasn’t given any reason to vote for it,” Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor with The Caravan magazine, told AFP.

“The campaign was a disaster and now their very existence is under question.” Unemployment is reported to be at a four-decade high, with Asia’s third-biggest economy growing too slowly to create jobs for the million Indians entering the labour market every month. - AFP


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