India election results 2024 live: Modi accused of stock market manipulation over exit polls


India’s opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has called for a parliamentary investigation into Narendra Modi and his right-hand-man for alleged stock market manipulation in the wake of the election results.

Gandhi said Modi and home minister Amit Shah gave misleading advice to the public after exit polls incorrectly suggested the ruling BJP would win another landslide.

Modi and Shah had urged people to “buy (stocks) before June 4, they will shoot up”. When the election results were finally released on Tuesday, however, Indian stocks suffered their biggest crash in four years.

Meanwhile, Modi continues talks to form a coalition government, amid reports that the BJP’s minor allies are making big demands regarding policy changes.

Plans are being made for Modi to be inaugurated for his third term on Sunday, but he is being forced to negotiate on Cabinet roles with alliance members after his BJP unexpectedly failed to win a majority in the country’s election.

Modi’s alliance partners like the Janata Dal (United) party have already said publicly that they will push the BJP to reverse some of its recent flagship policies, and there is said to be disagreement over the seniority of cabinet roles being offered to JD(U) and another coalition party.

Key Points

  • Key ally demands modifications to BJP-introduced scheme

  • Key allies make demands before Modi stakes claim to government

  • Modi tenders resignation ahead of oath taking ceremony

  • Modi landslide fails to materialise as BJP set to lose outright majority

West Bengal high court pulls up state authorities over post-poll violence

06:07 , Namita Singh

The Calcutta High Court has criticised the West Bengal state authorities over post-poll violence, saying it may ask the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to stay deployed in the state for the next five years if the state fails to control violence.

“We want to ensure security of the people of the state at any cost,” said two-judge bench Justice Kausik Chanda and Justice Apurba Sinha Ray as it directed the state to allow people affected by violence to submit complaints to the Director General of Police via email.

“We want to ensure security of the people of the state at any cost,” the Bench said.

Supporters of Trinamool Congress (TMC) party cheer during an election campaign (AFP via Getty Images)Supporters of Trinamool Congress (TMC) party cheer during an election campaign (AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of Trinamool Congress (TMC) party cheer during an election campaign (AFP via Getty Images)

A petitioner named Rastrabadi Ainjeebi, through their lawyer, told the court that 11 people have died since the conclusion of the election.

Justice Koushik Chanda said: “Every day, we are watching in the media about post-poll violence. What happened after the last Assembly election, the same thing is happening this time also. You (State) should be ashamed.”

“If the state fails to control this violence, we have to make a decision that in the next five years, the Central forces will stay in this state.”

Congress politician on why Modi shouldn’t form government

05:41 , Namita Singh

Senior Congress politician Sachin Pilot says Narendra Modi should not be allowed to form the next government, arguing that he does not have a mandate to do so based on the election results.

“The BJP should introspect,” he said during a media interaction.

“When the 1989 election happened, Rajiv Gandhi got around 200 seats. He was asked to form the government, but he refused saying he had not got the mandate,” he said, referring to a former Indian prime minister for the Congress party.

“Then, the next largest party was asked to form the government.”

Mr Modi’s ruling BJP fell way short of the halfway mark of 272 seats, winning 240 seats, and he must now rely on minor partners in his National Democratic Alliance to make up a majority in parliament. The NDA as a whole won a total of 292 seats.“People didn’t accept BJP’s campaign of ‘Mandir Masjid’, Hindu-Muslim issues, and ‘Mangalsutra’,” he said referring to divisive remarks made by the prime minister during the campaign.

“The central government adopted an attitude, especially against the opposition, targeting them, imprisoning elected chief ministers, and misusing (central probe) agencies like the [Enforcement Directorate] and [Central Bureau of Investigation]. All these actions have been rejected by the people,” Mr Pilot said.

BJP accuses opposition alliance of misleading market investors

05:11 , Namita Singh

The BJP accused Congress of misleading market investers after opposition leader Rahul Gandhi held a press conference alleging a connection between the Hindu nationalist party, “exit pollsters and dubious foreign investors”.

“Rahul Gandhi has still not overcome the loss in the Lok Sabha Elections. Now, he is conspiring to mislead the market investors,” said union commerce minister Piyush Goyal.

“Today, India has become the fifth-largest economy.”

Alleging that Mr Gandhi wants to instill “fear in the minds of both the domestic and global investors, so that they do not invest,” he said: “We all know equity markets react to various estimates and predictions during any elections, or for that matter any forecasts by banks and institutions. Ups and downs are normal even during a non-event.”

Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi shows a stock market movement chart during a press conference in New Delhi, India, Thursday, 6 June 2024 (AP)Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi shows a stock market movement chart during a press conference in New Delhi, India, Thursday, 6 June 2024 (AP)

Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi shows a stock market movement chart during a press conference in New Delhi, India, Thursday, 6 June 2024 (AP)

China objects after Taiwan congratulates Modi on third term

04:51 , Namita Singh

China has launched a formal protest over an exchange between Taiwan’s president Lai Ching-te and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi following the election results.

Mr Lai, in a post on X, congratulated Mr Modi on winning a third term, saying: “My sincere congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi on his election victory. We look forward to enhancing the fast-growing #Taiwan-#India partnership, expanding our collaboration on trade, technology & other sectors to contribute to peace & prosperity in the #IndoPacific.”

“Thank you @ChingteLai for your warm message,” responded Mr Modi. “I look forward to closer ties as we work towards mutually beneficial economic and technological partnership.”

File:  Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, left, talks with Chinese president Xi Jinping at a signing ceremony by foreign ministers during the BRICS summit in Goa, India, 16 October 2016 (AP)File:  Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, left, talks with Chinese president Xi Jinping at a signing ceremony by foreign ministers during the BRICS summit in Goa, India, 16 October 2016 (AP)

File: Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, left, talks with Chinese president Xi Jinping at a signing ceremony by foreign ministers during the BRICS summit in Goa, India, 16 October 2016 (AP)

Objecting to the exchange, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said: “First of all, there is no such thing as ‘president’ of the Taiwan region.”

“As for your question, China opposes all forms of official interactions between the Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China. There is but one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China,” she said.

“The one-China principle is a universally recognised norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus in the international community,” Ms Mao said, adding, “India has made serious political commitments on this and is supposed to recognise, be alarmed about and resist the Taiwan authorities’ political calculations. China has protested to India about this.”India “has diplomatic relations with China.

“China opposes all forms of official interactions between the Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China. This position is very clear and India knows this well,” she said.

Opposition alliance parties still hopeful of forming government

04:27 , Namita Singh

While in a joint statement on Wednesday the INDIA alliance said it had decided to “take appropriate steps at the appropriate time”, indicating a willingness to sit in the opposition, not all parties in the bloc have given up hope of forming the government.

West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, often referred to as a reluctant opposition alliance partner, is making attempts to breach the citadel of prime minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance, according to the Indian Express.

Chief minister of India’s West Bengal state and Trinamool Congress (TMC) party leader Mamata Banerjee address the media in Kolkata on 4 June 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)Chief minister of India’s West Bengal state and Trinamool Congress (TMC) party leader Mamata Banerjee address the media in Kolkata on 4 June 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Chief minister of India’s West Bengal state and Trinamool Congress (TMC) party leader Mamata Banerjee address the media in Kolkata on 4 June 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

She has requested Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to reach out to key government allies, including Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar, who also shared good relations with Mr Yadav’s late father Mulayam Singh.

Two senior TMC leaders – Derek O’ Brien and Abhishek Banerjee – met Mr Yadav in New Delhi for a follow-up, reported the outlet citing sources.

India’s opposition leader seeks probe into stock market moves during election

03:57 , Namita Singh

India’s opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has demanded an investigation into sharp stock market moves towards the end of the just-ended national elections, alleging that prime minister Narendra Modi gave misleading investment advice.

Mr Modi’s alliance won the vote with a far smaller majority than the landslide forecast by exit polls last weekend.

Projections made by Saturday’s exit polls sent stock markets surging on 3 June, with the NSE Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex jumping 3.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively, a day before the Election Commission counted votes and declared results, dragging the markets back down again.

Mr Modi and some of his ministers had said during campaigning that the markets would surge when results were declared on 4 June, with home minister Amit Shah saying in a television interview, “buy before June 4, they will shoot up”.

Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, right, shows a stock market movement chart on a screen during a press conference in New Delhi, India, Thursday, 6 June 2024 (AP)Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, right, shows a stock market movement chart on a screen during a press conference in New Delhi, India, Thursday, 6 June 2024 (AP)

Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, right, shows a stock market movement chart on a screen during a press conference in New Delhi, India, Thursday, 6 June 2024 (AP)

Mr Gandhi told reporters: “We are interested in having a JPC to investigate the role of the prime minister, home minister, BJP members.” He was referring to comments made by them during the campaign and a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe.

“We want to understand who are the foreign investors who did these trades?” he said.

Mr Modi’s outgoing trade minister Piyush Goyal returned the accusation, saying that it was Mr Gandhi who was misleading investors.

“He is worried that Modi is coming back to power… He is pressuring foreign investors to not invest in the country,” he said. “We know equities markets undergo changes according to various estimates presented from time to time.”

On Tuesday, the markets crashed to a four-year low – down nearly six per cent – after election results showed Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had lost its outright majority and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won only a narrow majority.

How the Samajwadi Party scripted its success

02:01 , Maroosha Muzaffar

In Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state which accounts for 80 seats, the party won 62 seats five years ago but was reduced to 33 in this election. The opposition INDIA bloc got 43 seats, with the Samajwadi Party taking 37, a seven-fold increase over the previous election.

The Samajwadi Party has traditionally banked for support of the Muslim minority and the Hindu Yadav community of its leadership. The Yadavs are counted among the Other Backward Classes, or OBCs, a vast collection of caste groups which occupy the lower-middle and lower rungs on the Hindu caste hierarchy.

In the past five years, the party strategically broadened its coalition by courting non-Yadav OBCs and Dalits – formerly “Untouchables”, the lowest rung in the caste system, Delhi University professor and political analyst Apoorvanand told The Independent.

At the same time, Akhilesh Yadav galvanised the party’s workers by focusing on issues of social justice and equitable representation, organising effective campaigns, and ensuring strategic ticket distribution to candidates from diverse backgrounds.

“The party gave tickets to candidates from varied backgrounds that wanted representation,” Mr Apooranand said.

Modi has ‘lost aura of electoral invincibility’, analyst suggests

01:03 , Andy Gregory

“Modi has seemingly lost his aura of electoral invincibility,” Michael Kugelman, director of South Asia Institute at Wilson Center, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“This is a leader who has repeatedly bounced back from political and policy setbacks and retained large public mandates. With the results we’re seeing, that narrative of resilience has been dealt a big blow.”

Controversial Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut slapped days after winning election

Friday 7 June 2024 00:01 , Andy Gregory

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut was reportedy slapped by a security official in an altercation at an airport on Thursday, after being elected an MP for Narendra Modi’s BJP party.

Shahana Yasmin has more details on Ms Ranaut’s election in Mandi, a seat in her northern home state of Himachal Pradesh, and won by a margin of just under 75,000 votes:

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Controversial Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut wins election to India’s parliament

Who are Modi’s coalition allies-turned-kingmakers and what will they want in return?

Thursday 6 June 2024 22:57 , Andy Gregory

Two regional stalwarts have emerged as kingmakers with the power to make or break Narendra Modi’s new government and secure his future as the prime minister for the third time.

My colleague Alisha Rahaman Sarkar takes a look at what they may want in return:

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Who are Modi’s coalition allies-turned-kingmakers and what will they want in return?

India second biggest foreign threat to Canada after China, says government panel

Thursday 6 June 2024 21:59 , Andy Gregory

India is the second biggest foreign threat to Canada after China, a damning new report concluded nine months after Justin Trudeau accused Delhi of involvement in the assassination of a Canadian Sikh citizen.

The report was released by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), a cross-party group of MPs and senators in Canada, and tabled in parliament with redactions this week.

The report said India has “emerged as the second-most significant foreign interference threat to Canada’s democratic institutions and processes”, dislodging Russia. It noted that “foreign interference efforts have slowly increased” and its efforts “extended beyond countering what is perceived as pro-Khalistani efforts in Canada”.

It alleged that India was “interfering in Canadian democratic processes and institutions, including through the targeting of Canadian politicians, ethnic media, and Indo-Canadian ethnocultural communities”.

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India second biggest foreign threat to Canada after China, says government panel

Why a third term for Modi could be ‘catastrophic’ for India’s 200 million Muslims

Thursday 6 June 2024 21:00 , Andy Gregory

Mohammad Saad was excited to return home to Bihar in eastern India and see his family. He had bought a train ticket and was packed to leave in the morning, but he never made it.

On that night of 31 July 2023, a mob of around 200 Hindus stormed the Anjuman Mosque in Gurugram, where Saad served as the deputy imam, and killed him in his sleep. The mob also burnt down the mosque.

Sectarian violence had erupted in the neighbouring Nuh region, and quickly spilled over into Gurugram, a shiny satellite township of India’s capital Delhi that hosts the offices of multinational corporations such as Google, Meta and Deloitte.

The violence in Gurugram was a reminder that the increasing persecution of religious minorities, particularly Muslims, was not confined to the hinterland.

It also reinforced accusations by critics that Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government had mainstreamed sectarian violence – an act for which Saad, 22, who would sing about religious harmony in social media videos, paid the price.

Shweta Sharma takes a look at what a third Modi government could mean for India’s 200 million Muslims here:

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Why a third term for Modi could be ‘catastrophic’ for India’s 200 million Muslims

Could record election turnout be a turning point for troubled Kashmir?

Thursday 6 June 2024 19:55 , Andy Gregory

Kashmir has witnessed unexpectedly high voter turnout for the ongoing Indian national election, splitting opinion on what it might mean for the conflict-ravaged Himalayan region.

While Narendra Modi’s government is portraying it as an expression of public support for its Kashmir policy, Kashmiri voters, politicians and analysts see it as an assertion of identity and local interests by people who have repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of New Delhi’s rule in the restive region.

In Monday’s voting, the fifth of seven phases in this marathon general election, Baramulla in north Kashmir recorded its highest voter turnout ever, with a constituency that has been notorious for separatist militant activity beating the turnout figures for heartland states of Bihar and Maharashtra.

Nearly 59 per cent of registered voters turned out in Baramulla, almost 20 per cent more than in the previous parliamentary election five years ago.

Voter participation was lower in the main Kashmiri city of Srinagar when it voted on 13 May, but that turnout of 38 per cent was still the highest since 1996, and almost triple the 13 per cent who voted in 2019.

Maroosha Muzaffar has the full report:

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Could record election turnout be a turning point for troubled Kashmir?

Analysis | India’s Trump may have taken a knock, but Modi – like his great admirer – can bounce back

Thursday 6 June 2024 19:09 , Andy Gregory

Narendra Modi was the first world leader to be given a tour of the White House by a freshly elected Donald Trump. If that wasn’t enough of an honour, as well as a show of political intent, it was followed with a dinner attended by first lady Melania, vice-president Mike Pence, and every single senior member of the Trump administration.

Three years later, in 2020, Trump visited India with his family, and drew 125,000 people to a rally, “Namaste Trump”, at the Motera Stadium (now the Narendra Modi Stadium) in Modi’s home state of Gujarat. Trump laid it on thick: “America loves India, respects India. India gives hope to all of humanity.” Modi was “a man I am proud to call my true friend”.

That was then. In recent days, the two populist strongmen have experienced serious setbacks. Modi did not get the widely expected resounding majority in the general election. Trump became the first former president to become a convicted felon, having been found guilty on all counts in his hush money trial.

While much of liberal Europe is aghast at the prospect of Trump redux, many in Modi’s circle think it will be good for India for a variety of reasons. The Biden administration, like its recent predecessors in Washington, has been building diplomatic, economic and military ties with India with the aim of making it a strategic partner in an alliance against China.

But, at the same time, there have been expressions of concern from Biden’s team – “lectures”, according to more prickly Indian officials – about Modi’s Hindu nationalist policies, which have led to persistent claims of discrimination and alleged human rights abuse against Muslims. A Trump administration, it is felt, would not be too troubled by these issues.

Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta gives his analysis here:

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What does Modi’s disappointment in India mean for us – and the rest of the world?

AAP to go it alone in Delhi Assembly elections

Thursday 6 June 2024 18:01 , Andy Gregory

The Aam Aadmi Party will contest the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections in early 2025 without the Congress-led INDIA alliance, the party’s leader has suggested.

Following a disappointing result in the Lok Sabha elections, in which the AAP secured just three out of 22 contested seats, the party’s leader Gopal Rai was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times: “This is clear from the very first day that the INDIA alliance was formed for Lok Sabha elections.

“As far as Vidhan Sabha is concerned, no alliance has been formed. AAP will fight elections with its full strength.”

His remarks followed a meeting of AAP members in the capital on Thursday.

Samajwadi Party: Regional player that delivered the most shocking defeat of Modi’s political career

Thursday 6 June 2024 17:30 , Andy Gregory

Narendra Modi is set to stay on as India’s prime minister for a historic third term but with a much weaker mandate. His Bharatiya Janata Party lost its absolute parliamentary majority, defying exit polls, and must depend on mercurial allies to form the government.

A big part of the reason was heavy losses in the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh, chiefly at the hands of the Samajwadi Party.

My colleague Maroosha Muzaffar has more details on the party here:

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Samajwadi Party – the outfit behind Modi’s shocking political defeat

Modi’s alliance partners pushing for special status for Andhra Pradesh and Bihar

Thursday 6 June 2024 16:57 , Andy Gregory

Both of Narendra Modi’s key alliance partners in the TDP and JD(U) are pushing longstanding demands to grant special status to their respective states, during talks to form India’s next government, six sources have told Reuters.

TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu is set to become chief minister in Andhra Pradesh, while the JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar is chief minister of Bihar.

Special status allows states to receive more federal development funds, and on simpler terms. While Bihar is India‘s poorest state, Andhra Pradesh lost some of its resources in 2014 when the new state of Telangana was carved out of it.

In addition to special status and cabinet positions, TDP is also seeking more funds for irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh and to complete the building of its new capital, Amaravati, two sources familiar with the matter said. “This is not the first time we are in NDA, so we are confident that we will get what is due to us,” a TDP spokesperson said.

Modi’s outgoing trade minister fires back at Ghandi over call for markets probe

Thursday 6 June 2024 16:20 , Andy Gregory

Narendra Modi’s outgoing trade minister Piyush Goyal has accused Abdul Gandhi of misleading investors, after the opposition called for an investigation into moves in the stock market on either side of India’s election exit polls following comments by senior BJP figures.

Firing back at Mr Modi’s call for a probe on Thursday, Mr Goyal claimed: “He is worried that Modi is coming back to power… He is pressuring foreign investors to not invest in the country.”

He added: “We know equities markets undergo changes according to various estimates presented from time to time.”

India’s opposition calls for probe into stock market shifts around election exit polls

Thursday 6 June 2024 15:30 , Andy Gregory

India’s opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has demanded a parliamentary investigation into the severe stock market shifts both prior to and after the general election exit polls.

Projections made by Saturday’s exit polls sent stock markets surging on Monday, with the NSE Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex jumping 3.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively, a day before the Election Commission counted votes and declared results.

Mr Modi and some of his ministers had said during campaigning that the markets would surge when results were declared on 4 June, with home minister Amit Shah saying in a television interview, “buy before June 4, they will shoot up”.

Stock markets, however, crashed to a four-year low on Tuesday – down nearly 6 per cent – after election results showed Mr Modi’s BJP had lost its outright majority.

“We are interested in having a JPC to investigate the role of the prime minister, home minister, BJP members,” Mr Gandhi told reporters, adding: “We want to understand who are the foreign investors who did these trades.”

The NDA won 293 seats in the election, much lower than projected. Gandhi’s Congress-led opposition ‘INDIA’ alliance won 232, higher than projected.

A source familiar with the developments said the Securities and Exchange Board of India was examining share trade patterns ahead of the exit polls and general election results for any suspicious transactions.

Tensions emerge in Modi alliance talks over key ministerial positions

Thursday 6 June 2024 14:59 , Andy Gregory

More tensions are reportedly emerging in Narendra Modi’s talks with allies over forming a government.

His alliance partners in the TDP and JD(U) are pushing for an array ministerial posts, including that of the Speaker of India’s lower parliamentary chamber, the Lok Sabha, according to India Today.

But the outlet reports that the BJP may not easily concede key positions – and is asserting its stake over portfolios including defence, finance, home and foreign affairs.

Sources told the magazine that the TDP – which holds 16 seats – is demanding one minister for every four MPs, while the JD(U), which won 12 seats, is pushing for three ministerial positions. Mr Modi’s other alliance partners, Shiv Sena and the LJP also each reportedly expect two ministry slots.

Kangana Ranaut ‘slapped’ at Chandigarh airport

Thursday 6 June 2024 14:29 , Andy Gregory

Actor-turned-BJP politician Kangana Ranaut has reportedly been slapped at Chandigarh airport by a woman belonging to India’s Central Industrial Security Force.

The newly-elected MP was slapped while going through airport security after pushing a member of the police force, having refused to put her phone in the tray during the security check, the Hindustan Times reports.

According to the outlet, the woman who slapped Ms Ranaut is a relative of a farming leader. Protests and dissatisfaction among farmers have put many at odds with Mr Modi’s BJP party.

In a video posted to X/Twitter, Ms Ranaut addressed the incident on Thursday, saying: “First of all, I am safe, I am perfectly fine. The incident that happened today at Chandigarh airport was during the security check.

“As soon as I came out after the security check, the lady in the second cabin, a CISF security staff came from the side, hit me on my face and started abusing me.

“When I asked her why she did so, she said that she supports farmers’ protest. I am safe but I am concerned about the terrorism and extremism that is increasing in Punjab.”

Who are Modi’s coalition allies-turned-kingmakers and what will they want in return?

Thursday 6 June 2024 14:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Two regional stalwarts have emerged as kingmakers with the power to make or break Narendra Modi’s new government and secure his future as the prime minister for the third time.

Mr Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to cross the majority mark in the recently held general elections to form the government on their own. The BJP will now have to form a coalition government with other members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), where minor partners would have a substantial say in policymaking.

The BJP managed to secure victory in 240 seats of the Lok Sabha (lower house) of parliament – 32 seats short of the majority mark required to form a government.

The opposition INDIA alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, won a total of 232 seats out of 543 in an impressive comeback, doubling its strength from the last election.

Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) N Chandrababu Naidu and Janata Dal (United)’s Nitish Kumar, two emerging kingmakers who have been turncoat BJP allies over the years, have begun negotiations and placed hefty demands, including ministerial berths for their parties and special statuses for their states.

Read the full story by Alisha Rahaman Sarkar here:

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Who are Modi’s coalition allies-turned-kingmakers and what will they want in return?

China lodges protest with India over Modi’s response to Taiwan president’s congratulatory note

Thursday 6 June 2024 13:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

China has lodged a protest with India over prime minister Narendra Mod’s social media response to Taiwan president Lai Ching-te’s congratulatory message on his election victory.

“We look forward to enhancing the fast-growing #Taiwan-#India partnership, expanding our collaboration on trade, technology & other sectors to contribute to peace & prosperity in the #IndoPacific,” Lai wrote on X.

In his reply, Modi said: “Thank you @ChingteLai for your warm message. I look forward to closer ties as we work towards mutually beneficial economic and technological partnership”.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and that India should resist Taiwan’s political manoeuvres, citing the One China principle.

File. India’s prime minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with China’s president Xi Jinping (R) before the G20 leaders’ family photo in Hangzhou in 2016 (AFP via Getty Images)File. India’s prime minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with China’s president Xi Jinping (R) before the G20 leaders’ family photo in Hangzhou in 2016 (AFP via Getty Images)

File. India’s prime minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with China’s president Xi Jinping (R) before the G20 leaders’ family photo in Hangzhou in 2016 (AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking with media, she said: “China has protested to India about this.”

“On this question, China opposes all forms of official interactions between Taiwan authorities and countries having diplomatic relations with China,” she said.

ICYMI: Why a third term for Modi could be ‘catastrophic’ for India’s 200 million Muslims

Thursday 6 June 2024 13:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

As results are out and Narendra Modi is all set to return as prime minister, Muslims in India tell Shweta Sharma of their growing anxiety and fear of persecution after two terms of the Modi government have seen rising polarisation in the country:

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Why a third term for Modi could be ‘catastrophic’ for India’s 200 million Muslims

ICYMI: Key ally demands modifications to BJP-introduced scheme

Thursday 6 June 2024 12:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

In a potential sign of cracks already emerging among Modi’s coalition partners, the allied party Janata Dal (United) has reportedly asked the ruling BJP to modify its controversial Agniveer scheme – a military recruitment reform creating short-term, US-style “tours of duty” launched last year by the government.

JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi told Aaj Tak news channel: “The Agniveer scheme has been heavily criticised since its introduction, and we saw its impact on elections, too. We need to make changes in this new army recruitment.”

He said that a section of voters had been “upset over the scheme” which led to protests across the country when the BJP-led government introduced the scheme.

Mr Tyagi told ANI: “Our party wants those shortcomings which have been questioned by the public to be discussed in detail and removed.”

Under the scheme, unveiled last year, applicants between the ages of 17.5 and 21 will be hired into the three services – navy, air force and army – and employed for a four-year tour similar to systems in the US and UK.Out of all recruits, only 25 per cent will be retained at the end of these contracts, with the rest leaving employment.

BJP lost 92 constituencies and gained 32 new seats

Thursday 6 June 2024 12:09 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The Bharatiya Janata Party retained 208 of its 2019 seats, lost 92, and gained 32 new seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

In the 2019 polls, the Hindu nationalist party had won 303 among 543 seats in the lower house of parliament.

A report in the Indian Express revealed that in this election, the BJP’s losses were significant in constituencies reserved for Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

It faced the most shocking setbacks in Uttar Pradesh where it won just 29 seats, Maharashtra where it scored 16, and Rajasthan where its tally stood at 10.

Other notable losses occurred in Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana, and Bihar.

Indian prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, centre, poses for a photograph with senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and allies (AP)Indian prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, centre, poses for a photograph with senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and allies (AP)

Indian prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, centre, poses for a photograph with senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and allies (AP)

In the poorest districts, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) captured most of the lost seats, the outlet reported.

While the BJP suffered defeats in these 92 seats, it managed to secure 32 new seats from states like Odisha, Telangana, and Maharashtra, aiding its overall tally of 240.

Modi inauguration ‘pushed back to Sunday’ as coalition talks continue

Thursday 6 June 2024 12:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Narendra Modi will take his third oath as prime minister of India on 9 June, according to reports.

Earlier, it was understood that he would be taking part in a swearing-in ceremony, formally kicking off his third term, on Saturday 8 June.

India Today, citing unnamed sources, reported that the date has been postponed to Sunday.

It comes as Modi and senior BJP figures are engaged in talks with the party’s allies over the make-up of a coalition government.

Modi must rely on these allies for a majority after his BJP unexpectedly fell short.

A key ally of Modi in the coalition government, N Chandrababu Naidu from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has also postponed his swearing-in ceremony as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh to 12 June instead of 9 June, his spokesperson said.

BJP reluctant to lose portfolios that key allies are seeking – report

Thursday 6 June 2024 11:46 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Narendra Modi’s NDA allies are negotiating for key government positions after the Lok Sabha election results left his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) without a clear majority, according to NDTV.

However, the BJP is reluctant to give up some major ministries, it reported.

Key allies, including N Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar, are demanding significant roles, with Mr Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party seeking the Lok Sabha Speaker post and JDU pushing for a Common Minimum Programme.

JDU’s spokesperson KC Tyagi also demanded modifications to the controversial, tour of duty-style Agniveer scheme launched by the Modi government last year.

He told Aaj Tak news channel: “The Agniveer scheme has been heavily criticised since its introduction, and we saw its impact on elections, too. We need to make changes in this new army recruitment.”

NDTV reported that BJP may offer the deputy speaker role to TDP and retain key ministries like defence, finance, home affairs, and external affairs, as well as infrastructure and welfare-related portfolios.

Meanwhile, the BJP and its various allies are meeting tomorrow at 11.00am in the central hall of Parliament to discuss the negotiations between coalition partners.

BJP did politics in the name of Ayodhya, SP winner says

Thursday 6 June 2024 11:36 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The Samajwadi Party leader who won from the Faizabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh which is home to the Ayodhya Lord Ram temple said Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) played politics in the name of city.

Awadhesh Prasad told Press Trust of India: “Bharatiya Janata Party did politics in the name of Ayodhya. BJP has destroyed the dignity of ‘Maryada Purshottam Ram’ [Lord Ram]. There is inflation, there are no jobs in their (BJP’s) rule. They have disrespected our jawans [soldiers], farmers.”

The Ram temple was constructed on the ruins of a medieval mosque that was torn down by a Hindu mob in 1992. Mr Modi consecrated the temple in a grand ceremony in the run-up to the election in January this year, widely considered the informal launch of his campaign appealing to his Hindu base.

The BJP went on to lose the Faizabad constituency – one of the biggest shocks of Tuesday’s results day. Mr Prasad defeated BJP’s Lallu Singh by more than 54,000 votes.

Samajwadi Party: Regional player that delivered the most shocking defeat of Modi’s political career

Thursday 6 June 2024 10:50 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Narendra Modi is set to stay on as India’s prime minister for a historic third term but with a much weaker mandate. His Bharatiya Janata Party lost its absolute parliamentary majority, defying exit polls, and must depend on mercurial allies to form the government. A big part of the reason was heavy losses in the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh, chiefly at the hands of the Samajwadi Party.

The BJP won a brute majority of 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, in 2019 but managed only 240 this time around.

In Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state which accounts for 80 seats, the party won 62 seats five years ago but was reduced to 33 in this election. The opposition INDIA bloc got 43 seats, with the Samajwadi Party taking 37, a seven-fold increase over the previous election.

Read more here:

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Samajwadi Party: Regional player that delivered Modi’s shocking defeat in UP

World leaders call Modi on winning third term in office

Thursday 6 June 2024 10:20 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Narendra Modi received calls from several world leaders for his third term in office.

He received a congratulatory call from the UK’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, on Wednesday. Mr Sunak “congratulated the prime minister on the success in the general elections and conveyed best wishes for a historic third term”, a statement from the Indian caretaker prime minister’s office said.

The British leader’s office said in a statement: “The leaders reflected on the strength of the UK-India relationship and agreed that this will continue to grow in the future.

“Both agreed to stay in touch and looked forward to seeing each other at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Italy next week.”

Narendra Modi of India holds a bilateral meeting with British prime minister Rishi Sunak during the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 9 September 2023 in New Delhi (Getty Images)Narendra Modi of India holds a bilateral meeting with British prime minister Rishi Sunak during the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 9 September 2023 in New Delhi (Getty Images)

Narendra Modi of India holds a bilateral meeting with British prime minister Rishi Sunak during the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 9 September 2023 in New Delhi (Getty Images)

US president Joe Biden also made a phone call to Mr Modi. In a post on X, Mr Biden said: “Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance on their victory, and the nearly 650 million voters in this historic election. The friendship between our nations is only growing as we unlock a shared future of unlimited potential.”

Russian leader Vladimir Putin also called Mr Modi and “warmheartedly congratulated Narendra Modi on the success of the BJP in the general parliamentary elections that finished a few days ago”.

A statement from the Kremlin added: “This reflects the support of the political course pursued by the Indian leadership, recognition of the results achieved in the country’s socioeconomic development, and its strengthening international authority.”

ICYMI: Modi faces greatest pressure of his political career as BJP falls short of outright majority

Thursday 6 June 2024 09:50 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Concerns over a rise in Islamophobia and the erosion of democracy remain, but having to rule within a coalition will severely limit what Narendra Modi can do in the next five years. Alisha Rahaman Sarkar reports:

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Modi faces greatest pressure of his career so far as BJP falls short of majority

Key ally demands modifications to BJP-introduced scheme

Thursday 6 June 2024 09:39 , Maroosha Muzaffar

In a potential sign of cracks already emerging among Modi’s coalition partners, the allied party Janata Dal (United) has reportedly asked the ruling BJP to modify its controversial Agniveer scheme – a military recruitment reform creating short-term, US-style “tours of duty” launched last year by the government.

JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi told Aaj Tak news channel: “The Agniveer scheme has been heavily criticised since its introduction, and we saw its impact on elections, too. We need to make changes in this new army recruitment.”

He said that a section of voters had been “upset over the scheme” which led to protests across the country when the BJP-led government introduced the scheme.

Mr Tyagi told ANI: “Our party wants those shortcomings which have been questioned by the public to be discussed in detail and removed.”

Under the scheme, unveiled last year, applicants between the ages of 17.5 and 21 will be hired into the three services – navy, air force and army – and employed for a four-year tour similar to systems in the US and UK.Out of all recruits, only 25 per cent will be retained at the end of these contracts, with the rest leaving employment.

Modi inauguration ‘pushed back to Sunday’ as coalition talks continue

Thursday 6 June 2024 09:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Narendra Modi will take his third oath as prime minister of India on 9 June, according to reports.

Earlier, it was understood that he would be taking part in a swearing-in ceremony, formally kicking off his third term, on Saturday 8 June.

India Today, citing unnamed sources, reported that the date has been postponed to Sunday.

It comes as Modi and senior BJP figures are engaged in talks with the party’s allies over the make-up of a coalition government.

Modi must rely on these allies for a majority after his BJP unexpectedly fell short.

A key ally of Modi in the coalition government, N Chandrababu Naidu from Telegu Desam Party (TDP) has also postponed his swearing-in ceremony as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh to 12 June instead of 9 June, his spokesperson said.

Injustice was done to the people of Ayodhya, Samajwadi Party chief says

Thursday 6 June 2024 08:57 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party that emerged as the largest party in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, has blamed the BJP’s weak performance in the state on the injustice done to the people of Ayodhya – where the controversial new Ram Temple is located.

The temple was constructed on the ruins of a medieval mosque that was torn down by a Hindu mob in 1992. Narendra Modi consecrated the temple in a grand ceremony in the run-up to the election in January this year, widely considered the informal launch of his campaign appealing to his Hindu base.

The BJP went on to lose the Faizabad constituency in UP where the Ayodhya Ram temple is located, one of the biggest shocks of Tuesday’s results day.

A Samajwadi Party supporter carries portraits of party leader Akhilesh Yadav, right, and Congress Party leader, Rahul Gandhi, as he celebrates his party’s lead during the counting of votes in India’s national election in Lucknow, India, Tuesday, 4 June 2024 (AP)A Samajwadi Party supporter carries portraits of party leader Akhilesh Yadav, right, and Congress Party leader, Rahul Gandhi, as he celebrates his party’s lead during the counting of votes in India’s national election in Lucknow, India, Tuesday, 4 June 2024 (AP)

A Samajwadi Party supporter carries portraits of party leader Akhilesh Yadav, right, and Congress Party leader, Rahul Gandhi, as he celebrates his party’s lead during the counting of votes in India’s national election in Lucknow, India, Tuesday, 4 June 2024 (AP)

Speaking with ANI, Mr Yadav said: “The truth is that the BJP would have lost even more seats in Uttar Pradesh. I thank the people of Ayodhya. You would have seen the pain of Ayodhya from time to time. They were not given adequate compensation for their land, injustice was done to them, their land was not acquired at par with the market price, you snatched their land forcibly by slapping false cases against them…you destroyed the poor for a sacred thing. That is why, I think people of Ayodhya and neighbouring areas voted against the BJP.”

The Samajwadi Party won 37 of 80 seats in the state.

Justin Trudeau congratulates Modi even as parliamentary panel labels India second biggest threat after China

Thursday 6 June 2024 08:33 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Narendra Modi on his re-election even as a high-level Canadian parliamentary panel concluded that India was the second biggest foreign threat to Canada after China.

Despite tensions between the two countries, Mr Trudeau’s office wrote on X: “Congratulations to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his electoral victory.

Canada stands ready to work with its government to advance the relationship between our nations’ peoples — anchored to human rights, diversity, and the rule of law.”

File - Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past India’s prime minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site, during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Sunday, 10 September 2023 (AP, File)File - Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past India’s prime minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site, during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Sunday, 10 September 2023 (AP, File)

File – Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, left, walks past India’s prime minister Narendra Modi as they take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation site, during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Sunday, 10 September 2023 (AP, File)

Meanwhile, the report by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), a bipartisan group of MPs and senators in Canada, emerges at a time when India-Canada relations are at an all-time low after Mr Trudeau alleged last year that Indian government agents were involved in the killing of a Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a claim New Delhi dismissed as “absurd”.

World leaders call Modi on winning third term in office

Thursday 6 June 2024 08:18 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Narendra Modi received calls from several world leaders for his third term in office.

He received a congratulatory call from the UK’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, on Wednesday. Mr Sunak “congratulated the prime minister on the success in the general elections and conveyed best wishes for a historic third term”, a statement from the Indian caretaker prime minister’s office said.

The British leader’s office said in a statement: “The leaders reflected on the strength of the UK-India relationship and agreed that this will continue to grow in the future.

“Both agreed to stay in touch and looked forward to seeing each other at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Italy next week.”

US president Joe Biden also made a phone call to Mr Modi. In a post on X, Mr Biden said: “Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance on their victory, and the nearly 650 million voters in this historic election. The friendship between our nations is only growing as we unlock a shared future of unlimited potential.”

File. US president Joe Biden speaks with Narendra Modi during a meeting in the East Room of the White House, Friday, 23 June 2023, in Washington (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)File. US president Joe Biden speaks with Narendra Modi during a meeting in the East Room of the White House, Friday, 23 June 2023, in Washington (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

File. US president Joe Biden speaks with Narendra Modi during a meeting in the East Room of the White House, Friday, 23 June 2023, in Washington (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Russian leader Vladimir Putin also called Mr Modi and “warmheartedly congratulated Narendra Modi on the success of the BJP in the general parliamentary elections that finished a few days ago”.

A statement from the Kremlin added: “This reflects the support of the political course pursued by the Indian leadership, recognition of the results achieved in the country’s socioeconomic development, and its strengthening international authority.”

Congress leader praises UP party workers for not ‘bowing down’

Thursday 6 June 2024 07:50 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra praised party workers in Uttar Pradesh for not bowing down and for showing “courage” to “fight in the toughest of times”.

In a post on X, Ms Gandi Vadra wrote: “My salute to all my colleagues of UP Congress. I saw you working hard in the sun and dust, you did not bow down, you did not stop, you showed courage to fight in the toughest of times. You were tortured, false cases were filed against you, you were put in jail, you were repeatedly put under house arrest but you did not get scared. Many leaders left in fear, you remained firm.

“I am proud of you and the conscious people of UP, who understood the depth and truth of this country and gave a strong message to the whole of India to save our Constitution.

Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrive at the party headquarters in New Delhi (Reuters)Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrive at the party headquarters in New Delhi (Reuters)

Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrive at the party headquarters in New Delhi (Reuters)

“You have reestablished an old ideal in today’s politics – that public issues are paramount, the price of ignoring them is heavy. Elections are of the public, it is the public who fights and it is the public who wins.”

Key Modi ally Chandrababu Naidu’s swearing-in ceremony postponed

Thursday 6 June 2024 07:45 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The swearing-in of Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh has been postponed from 9 June to 12 June.

Mr Naidu will be attending Narendra Modi’s swearing-in as prime minister of India on 8 June.

TDP spokesperson K Pattabhi Ram said Mr Naidu wants to avoid having to rush back to Amaravati immediately after the big event in New Delhi.

Indian prime minister elect Narendra Modi, left, is sitting next to Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu, center, and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar. (AP)Indian prime minister elect Narendra Modi, left, is sitting next to Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu, center, and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar. (AP)

Indian prime minister elect Narendra Modi, left, is sitting next to Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu, center, and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar. (AP)

“He will be sworn in most likely on 12 June. Chandrababu will be in Delhi on 7 June for the NDA parliamentary party meeting and will attend the swearing-in on June 8. He will return to Amaravati a day after that and will be sworn in on 12 June,’’ party spokesperson Pattabhi Ram said.

Why Modi’s BJP was defeated in Ayodhya where they built a grand temple to Lord Ram

Thursday 6 June 2024 07:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

In January this year, a galaxy of India’s celebrities, including billionaire families, cricketers, and actors, landed at the holy city of Ayodhya in India’s north to attend the “once-in-a-lifetime” consecration ceremony of a grand temple to Hindu deity Lord Ram.

The temple, built over a razed mosque, was thought to be the project that would seal Narendra Modi‘s rare third term as India’s prime minister and guarantee a landslide for his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the May elections.

On Tuesday, as votes were being counted, it became clear that Faizabad, the constituency that is home to Ayodhya and the Lord Ram temple, had resoundingly rejected the BJP, much to the astonishment of not only the political outfit but also many Hindus across social media.

“UP (Uttar Pradesh) is a puzzle but Ayodhya is even worse. I’m scratching my head over the BJP’s loss in Ayodhya. They’ve got temples, hotels, jobs, and an airport – what more do they need? Thoughts?” wrote user Narayanan Hariharan on X, formerly Twitter. Uttar Pradesh is the BJP-ruled state where Ayodhya – thought to be the birthplace of Lord Ram – is situated.

Read more by Arpan Rai:

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Why Modi’s BJP conceded defeat in Ayodhya – the site of grand temple to Lord Ram

INDIA vs BJP: What Modi’s underperformance means for a resurgent opposition alliance

Thursday 6 June 2024 07:15 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Stunning election result, where the INDIA bloc outperformed exit polls by around 100 seats, could be transformative for political future of opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, experts tell Arpan Rai:

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What the India election result means for a resurgent opposition

If Rahul Gandhi is ready to accept leadership why would we object, Sanjay Raut says

Thursday 6 June 2024 07:02 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut has expressed support for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi becoming prime minister, should the opportunity arise.

After the opposition bloc INDIA’s unexpectedly strong performance in the Lok Sabha elections, Mr Raut said: “If Rahul Gandhi is ready to accept the leadership, why would we object? He has proven himself as a national leader for multiple times. He is one of the popular leaders. We all want him and love him. There is no objection and difference in the alliance.”

“Since the beginning of the elections, the INDIA alliance has no dissonance over the post of Prime Minister. This alliance has always fought to save democracy and the constitution from the dictatorial governance of the BJP and people have voted for us. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah should accept their defeat,” he added.

Samajwadi Party: Regional player that delivered the most shocking defeat of Modi’s political career

Thursday 6 June 2024 06:51 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Part of the opposition INDIA alliance, the Samajwadi Party gave voice to voters disillusioned with the BJP, courted marginalised castes and countered Hindu nationalist rhetoric by focusing on social justice:

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Samajwadi Party: Regional player that delivered Modi’s shocking defeat in UP

Justin Trudeau congratulates Modi even as parliamentary panel labels India second biggest threat after China

Thursday 6 June 2024 06:41 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Narendra Modi on his re-election even as a high-level Canadian parliamentary panel concluded that India was the second biggest foreign threat to Canada after China.

Despite tensions between the two countries, Mr Trudeau’s office wrote on X: “Congratulations to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his electoral victory.

Canada stands ready to work with its government to advance the relationship between our nations’ peoples — anchored to human rights, diversity, and the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, the report by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), a bipartisan group of MPs and senators in Canada, emerges at a time when India-Canada relations are at an all-time low after Mr Trudeau alleged last year that Indian government agents were involved in the killing of a Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a claim New Delhi dismissed as “absurd”.

Key allies make demands before Modi stakes claim to government

Thursday 6 June 2024 06:39 , Maroosha Muzaffar

After meeting with key allies yesterday, Narendra Modi is expected to receive a set of demands today from the regional parties with whom he will be formed to form a coalition.

Modi held talks with allies for hours at his official residence yesterday, after he resigned to pave way for the formation of a new government in the wake of India’s election.

The Telegu Desam Party (TDP) led by N Chandrababu Naidu is likely to demand a new special status for his state Andhra Pradesh, a cabinet role for his son and more funds for Amravati city in his state.

People’s mandate gave ‘befitting reply’ to the BJP, Congress president says

Thursday 6 June 2024 05:04 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Indian National Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said that the alliance of opposition parties – INDIA – will continue to fight against the “fascist rule” of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, he said: “The people’s mandate has given a befitting reply to the BJP and their politics of hate and corruption. This is a mandate in defence of the Constitution of India and against price rise, unemployment and crony capitalism and also to save democracy.”

On X, the INDIA bloc wrote late on Wednesday after Modi resigned from his post and held a meeting with key allies: “Game Not Over. Wait”.

Meanwhile, Mr Kharge said that the bolstered opposition will take “appropriate steps” at the “appropriate time” and added that “we will keep up with the promises we have made to the people”.

Nine out of thirteen ‘turncoats’ lose elections

Thursday 6 June 2024 04:45 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Nine out of 13 candidates who switched political parties after being investigated by federal agencies have lost their races, according to The Indian Express.

The majority of these were from the BJP or its allies.

There were over 150 such “turncoat” candidates overall, with thirteen facing active probes from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s income tax department, or enforcement directorate before they decided to switch parties.

Among the prominent losers were Jyoti Mirdha, Kripashankar Singh, Tapas Roy, Kothapalli Geeta, Preneet Kaur, and Geeta Koda — all switched to the BJP after facing various legal and investigative challenges.

Critics have accused the BJP of using such investigations to strong-arm opposition politicians into switching allegiance, an allegation the ruling party has denied.

Modi set to form coalition government after India election leaves him without majority

Thursday 6 June 2024 04:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Narendra Modi will return as India’s prime minister for a rare third term and stake his claim to form a coalition government after his allies elected him as their leader on Wednesday.

Mr Modi offered his resignation to President Droupadi Murmu to pave the way for the formation of a new government after a disappointing outing by his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the general election.

The BJP failed to win an outright parliamentary majority. However, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance [NDA] won 292 of the 543 seats, 20 more than the 272 needed for a majority.

For the first time since the BJP swept to power in 2014, the party did not secure a majority on its own, winning 240 seats, far fewer than the record 303 it won in the 2019 election.

This means that Mr Modi will for the first time need to form a coalition government to run the world’s largest democracy with the help of regional powers, which have not been averse to shifting their loyalties in the past.

Read more here:

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Modi set to form coalition government after India election left him without majority

First foreign leaders confirm attendance at Modi’s swearing-in

Thursday 6 June 2024 04:14 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe and Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina became the first foreign leaders to confirm their attendance at Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, expected to take place on Saturday.

Ms Hasina is due to visit India again later this month for a bilateral meeting.

Leaders from Bhutan, Mauritius and Nepal are also expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony, the Times of India reported.

Mr Modi is set to take the prime ministerial office for a historic third time, despite his BJP failing to secure a parliamentary majority. He will have to rely on coalition partners to form a government.

On Wednesday, he resigned from his post and held meetings with key allies at his official residence in New Delhi.

Who is Rahul Gandhi – the political dynast considered to be Narendra Modi’s chief rival?

Thursday 6 June 2024 01:59 , Andy Gregory

Indian citizens of the country had a choice to make this election season: back Hindu nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi for a rare third term or usher in an alternative?

Rahul Gandhi – the scion of India’s most prominent political dynasty – is often pitched as an alternative candidate.

Mr Gandhi, though he is not officially the leader, is the centre of gravity of the Congress, the primary opposition to Mr Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Arpan Rai has this report on the most prominent challenger to Mr Modi:

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Who is Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi’s chief rival?

Opposition gains come despite increasingly hostile environment created by Modi government

Thursday 6 June 2024 00:55 , Arpan Rai

The opposition INDIA alliance’s better-than-expected performance came despite an increasingly hostile environment created by the Modi government, which used the agencies of state to seize the Congress party’s funds, jail some of the INDIA bloc’s best-known leaders, and create an atmosphere of threat against critical NGOs and media.

“Modi had threatened in a political rally that after 4 June, all opposition leaders will be in jail,” says Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge.

Modi’s biggest political rival in New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal from the Aam Aadmi Party, returned to jail on Sunday even as the exact charges against him, relating to a now-scrapped liquor policy, remain unclear.

Kejriwal’s spokesperson Akshay Marathe tells The Independent that Modi “made every attempt possible to undermine democracy in India” and the Indian opposition will now be in a position to undo that damage.

“Those who BJP ran roughshod and took for granted have hit back and humbled them.

‘Modi fatigue has set in in India,’ says analyst

Wednesday 5 June 2024 23:48 , Arpan Rai

“It is clear that Modi fatigue has set in in India,” Indian political economist and author Parakala Prabhakar tells The Independent.

“This is a decisive rejection of the divisive agenda that Modi has been canvassing for the past few months with his policies and hate speech. By claiming to capture 400 out of 543 seats, he made the minorities feel that he is out to change the Indian constitution.

“This election, the dice were loaded against the BJP. India is facing acute rural distress, steep price rises, spiking unemployment rate and, instead, Modi got carried away by the stock market, by NRIs [non-resident Indians] praising India or some western CEO’s comment on India. The opposition has to now undo this damage of 10 years,” Prabhakar says.

What Modi’s underperformance means for a resurgent opposition alliance

Wednesday 5 June 2024 21:50 , Andy Gregory

The mood is electric inside a packed Congress party headquarters in Delhi as activists and workers jostle to get a glimpse of Rahul Gandhi, who arrives at the podium with a red pocket-size edition of the Indian constitution in his hand.

He utilised this prop throughout the election campaign as he warned that a third straight Narendra Modi landslide would allow the Hindu nationalist BJP to rip up the country’s constitution and declare India a Hindu state.

The landslide never materialised, and Mr Modi is now set to lead a coalition government that will force him to rely on allies for his majority, a limited mandate that could have far-reaching consequences for the next five years.

My colleague Arpan Rai has this report on what Mr Modi’s underperformance could mean for the opposition alliance:

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What the India election result means for a resurgent opposition

Controversial Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut wins election to India’s parliament

Wednesday 5 June 2024 20:49 , Andy Gregory

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has been elected an MP in India, joining a small crowd of people from the film industry in the country’s new parliament.

Ranaut stood as the candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in Mandi, a seat in her northern home state of Himachal Pradesh, and won by a margin of just under 75,000 votes.

The breakout star of 2013’s well-received Bollywood hit Queen, Ranaut became the most prominent of Indian celebrities to openly, and closely, align herself with Modi’s ruling party after it first came to power in 2014, and has championed its Hindu nationalist cause.

She has repeatedly faced criticism in the past for echoing the ruling party’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.

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Controversial Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut wins election to India’s parliament

In Focus | Modi faces greatest pressure of his political career as BJP falls short of outright majority

Wednesday 5 June 2024 19:51 , Andy Gregory

Narendra Modi’s failure to win an outright majority in India’s general election will spark conflict within his party and limit his mandate to carry out sweeping reforms in a historic third consecutive term.

Modi had promised that some major reforms would come in his first 100 days after winning the election. “My plan for the first 100 days after the result is ready, and I won’t waste a single day,” the prime minister repeatedly said during election rallies and scripted TV interviews.

Some of the BJP’s most eye-catching plans included a uniform civil code, essentially forcing the country’s many communities to bring their customs closer in line with the Hindu majority, and a national register of citizens, which critics said could see many Indian Muslims without proper documentation branded illegal immigrants.

Another campaign pledge was to regularise Indian elections so that federal and state votes all take place at the same time every five years. It was widely thought that this policy would benefit only the BJP, as it would capitalise on Modi’s supposedly iron-clad personal approval figures.

Such sweeping changes will now almost certainly be challenged by Modi’s alliance partners, said Sayantan Ghosh, columnist and professor at St Xavier’s College in Kolkata. “The Modi government will have to backtrack on its ideology,” he explained. “Modi is for the first time under pressure. It will be the most compromised NDA government ever formed.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar reports:

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Modi faces greatest pressure of his career so far as BJP falls short of majority

Why Modi’s BJP was defeated in Ayodhya where they built a grand temple to Lord Ram

Wednesday 5 June 2024 18:54 , Andy Gregory

In January this year, a galaxy of India’s celebrities, including billionaire families, cricketers, and actors, landed at the holy city of Ayodhya in India’s north to attend the “once-in-a-lifetime” consecration ceremony of a grand temple to Hindu deity Lord Ram.

The temple, built over a razed mosque, was thought to be the project that would seal Narendra Modi‘s rare third term as India’s prime minister and guarantee a landslide for his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the May elections.

On Tuesday, as votes were being counted, it became clear that Faizabad, the constituency that is home to Ayodhya and the Lord Ram temple, had resoundingly rejected the BJP, much to the astonishment of not only the political outfit but also many Hindus across social media.

My colleague Arpan Rai reports:

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Why Modi’s BJP conceded defeat in Ayodhya – the site of grand temple to Lord Ram

Modi’s swearing in ceremony expected this weekend

Wednesday 5 June 2024 17:50 , Andy Gregory

Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has formally named him to lead a new coalition government for a third straight term, a day after it regained power with a surprisingly slim majority.

A day after the humbling election outcome for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), following a strong performance by the opposition INDIA bloc, Mr Modi’s 15 alliance partners met at his New Delhi residence and named him as their leader.

Mr Modi was set to meet president Droupadi Murmu on Friday to present his claim to form a government and the swearing-in could take place over the weekend, an NDA leader told Reuters. Local media earlier reported that the swearing-in ceremony was scheduled for Saturday.

 (EPA) (EPA)

(EPA)

Putin holds phone call with Modi

Wednesday 5 June 2024 16:59 , Andy Gregory

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has held a phone call with Narendra Modi, the Tass state news agency has reported.

Biden congratulates Modi on election victory

Wednesday 5 June 2024 16:17 , Andy Gregory

US president Joe Biden has offered his congratulations to Narendra Modi on his National Democratic Alliance’s election victory.

“The friendship between our nations is only growing as we unlock a shared future of unlimited potential,” the US president said, in a message sent perhaps more slowly than would have been the case had Mr Modi’s BJP succeeded in securing the outright majority it had expected.

‘Kingmaker’ Naidu says he is ‘experienced and has seen several political changes in India’

Wednesday 5 June 2024 15:33 , Shweta Sharma

Two Modi allies, Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu – whose parties are the Janata Dal United (JDU) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) respectively – are widely being dubbed as the “kingmakers” in India’s election. The two parties control 28 seats collectively and are vital for the new government.

TDP, a significant regional player in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, and JD(U) of Bihar in the east, have reiterated their support to the alliance. Mr Naidu, and Mr Kumar arrived in Delhi on Wednesday to hold a meeting with the NDA and the BJP.

However, Mr Modi’s party political relationship had been rocky with both parties, a situation BJP would have wanted to avoid.

Mr Kumar, 73, the chief minister of India’s poorest state of Bihar, has gained infamy for switching his political alliances several times during his political career. He returned to Mr Modi’s coalition earlier this year after previously having helped to form an opposition alliance of more than two dozen parties for the general election.

Mr Naidu refrained from directly commenting on the formation of the government but said: “We are in NDA, I’m going to the NDA meeting.” He added: “I am experienced and have seen several political changes in this country.”

Full report: Modi set to form coalition government after India election leaves him without majority

Wednesday 5 June 2024 15:11 , Andy Gregory

Narendra Modi will return as India’s prime minister for a rare third term and stake claim to form a coalition government after his pre-poll allies elected him as their leader on Wednesday.

Mr Modi offered his resignation to president Droupadi Murmu to pave the way for new government formation despite a disappointing outing by his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the general election.

The BJP failed to win an outright parliamentary majority which the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance did. NDA won 292 of the 543 seats, 20 more than the 272 needed for a majority.

This means that Mr Modi will need to form a coalition government to run the world’s largest democracy for the first time with regional powers, which were not averse to shifting their loyalties in the past.

Shweta Sharma reports:

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Modi set to form coalition government after India election left him without majority

Exit polls failed to capture voter discontent in key states, admit pollsters

Wednesday 5 June 2024 14:41 , Andy Gregory

The overstimation of electoral support for Narendra Modi in Indian exit polls was a result of the surveys being unable accurately capture discontent among the social and economic castes that are ranked lower in key states, two pollsters have suggested.

Three of five polls initially projected Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party would win more than the 303 electoral seats it won in 2019. However, vote counts showed much lower numbers – around 240 for the BJP and 293 for Mr Modi’s alliance which includes regional parties.

Pradeep Gupta, head of the Axis My India poll agency, said the survey failed to capture a shift among voters in the less privileged sections of society in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra states – where 170 seats in total were up for grabs, and where the BJP lost a whopping 45 seats compared to 2019.

“This is our mistake … We could not predict as accurately as we are known for,” Mr Gupta told Reuters, noting that many voters in those sections of society didn’t disclose their voting decisions for fear of being attacked by electoral workers who did not share their political views.

Many women voters also asked men in their families to respond on their behalf, resulting in wrong estimations of their voting decisions, he said.

“We are wrong in 2024,” said Yashwant Deshmukh, head of CVoter polling agency, whose numbers were overestimated by about 50 seats in favour of Mr Modi’s party. “I wish I could stop giving seat numbers but that’s a professional hazard” as the media keeps asking for those estimates, Mr Deshmukh said.

Akhilesh Yadav of INDIA alliance hails ‘intelligent voters’ of Uttar Pradesh

Wednesday 5 June 2024 14:20 , Namita Singh

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav hailed the triumph of the INDIA bloc in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, after the party’s impressive performance slashed the BJP presence there.

The state is India’s most populous and returns 80 parliamentarians, meaning it is often dubbed the gateway to power in Delhi.

Tuesday’s results reduced the BJP from 62 seats in the 2019 general election to just 33 seats. The Samajwadi Party alone claimed 37 seats in the state, a tally that rises to 43 with other INDIA bloc allies.

Mr Yadav called it a landmark victory for the state’s backward classes, Dalits and minorities.

“Dear intelligent voters of Uttar Pradesh, the victory of the INDIA bloc in the state is also the victory of the Untouchable and backward classes which, along with backward, minority, tribal, women and all neglected, exploited, oppressed, backwards among the upper castes, has fought shoulder to shoulder to save the Constitution that gives the right to equality, respect, self-respect, dignified life, and reservation,” he wrote on X.

Modi prepares for record 3rd term as nations congratulate his government on election victory

Wednesday 5 June 2024 14:00 , Namita Singh

China, Ukraine and other nations sent their congratulations on Wednesday as prime minister Narendra Modi’s government began preparations for his swearing-in for a record third term following the world’s largest democratic election.

Mr Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party planned to meet with allies later Wednesday to discuss the government’s formation.

Official results from the Election Commission showed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won 294 of the 543 seats, more than the 272 needed for a majority but far fewer than had been expected. For the first time since the BJP swept to power in 2014, it did not secure a majority on its own, winning 240 seats, far fewer than the record 303 it won in the 2019 election.

Mr Modi met on Wednesday with Indian president Droupadi Murmu and tendered his customary resignation along with that of his Cabinet ahead of the swearing-in ceremony expected in several days.

Congratulatory messages to Mr Modi from leaders of regional countries including Nepal and Bhutan were the first to arrive, while the White House commended India for its “vibrant democratic process.”

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Wednesday extended congratulations to the BJP.

“A sound and stable India-China relationship is in the interest of both countries and conducive to the peace and development of this region and beyond,” she said, adding that China is ready to work with India in the fundamental interest of the two countries.

Best memes as Indians react to unexpectedly close election: ‘Public is smart’

Wednesday 5 June 2024 13:30 , Namita Singh

Indians flooded social media with memes and jokes as the vote count in the elections put an unexpected spin on the outcome on Tuesday, with Narendra Modi’s party falling short of the landslide victory predicted in the exit polls.

Mr Modi’s boisterous claim of a thumping victory appeared to have fallen short as the opposition INDIA bloc performed much better than projected, trailing closely behind the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led pre-poll alliance.

Mr Modi had claimed that the BJP would win 370 seats and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) cross the 400-seat mark. During election campaigns BJP leaders popularised the slogan “abki bar 400 paar” (this time, above 400), that mememakers swooped upon after the party failed to deliver.

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Best memes as Indians react to unexpectedly close election: ‘Public is smart’

World leaders slow to congratulate Modi after unexpectedly close election

Wednesday 5 June 2024 13:00 , Namita Singh

World leaders appeared to exhibit caution as congratulatory messages to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi trickled in slower than usual after his ruling party failed to win an outright majority in the 2024 general elections.

India’s neighbours in Asia and a handful of allies in Europe led the wave of congratulatory messages to Mr Modi, who is expected to run a coalition government for the first time in a decade of his power.

While the US, the UK and Russia waited for the final outcome of the election, Italy, Japan, China, Israel, Bangladesh and others in South Asia hailed Mr Modi for his historic third term, reports Shweta Sharma.

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World leaders slow to congratulate Modi after unexpectedly close India election

Modi meets key allies after disappointing election result

Wednesday 5 June 2024 12:49 , Namita Singh

Leaders of the BJP-led NDA alliance have arrived at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg – the official residence of the prime minister – for a meeting.

They are likely to discuss the formation of their coalition government and the ministerial berths that will be given to various parties.

Among the leaders seen arriving are top BJP allies Nitish Kumar – chief minister of Bihar state and leader of the JD(U) party – and N Chandrababu Naidu, chief of the TDP party.

Their numbers will be crucial in taking the alliance over the 272-mark needed to form a government so their moves are being closely watched.

Earlier today, Mr Modi met Indian president Draupadi Murmu, who formally accepted his resignation as prime minister and also that of his cabinet of ministers ahead of the formation of a new government.

Allies of Narendra Modi arriving at his residence to discuss coalition demands (Screengrab/ANI)Allies of Narendra Modi arriving at his residence to discuss coalition demands (Screengrab/ANI)

Allies of Narendra Modi arriving at his residence to discuss coalition demands (Screengrab/ANI)

Akhilesh Yadav of INDIA alliance hails ‘intelligent voters’ of Uttar Pradesh

Wednesday 5 June 2024 12:29 , Namita Singh

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav hailed the triumph of the INDIA bloc in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, after the party’s impressive performance slashed the BJP presence there.

The state is India’s most populous and returns 80 parliamentarians, meaning it is often dubbed the gateway to power in Delhi.

Tuesday’s results reduced the BJP from 62 seats in the 2019 general election to just 33 seats. The Samajwadi Party alone claimed 37 seats in the state, a tally that rises to 43 with other INDIA bloc allies.

A Samajwadi Party supporter carries portraits of party leader Akhilesh Yadav, right, and Congress Party leader, Rahul Gandhi, as he celebrates his party’s lead during the counting of votes in India’s national election in Lucknow, India, Tuesday, 4 June 2024 (AP)A Samajwadi Party supporter carries portraits of party leader Akhilesh Yadav, right, and Congress Party leader, Rahul Gandhi, as he celebrates his party’s lead during the counting of votes in India’s national election in Lucknow, India, Tuesday, 4 June 2024 (AP)

A Samajwadi Party supporter carries portraits of party leader Akhilesh Yadav, right, and Congress Party leader, Rahul Gandhi, as he celebrates his party’s lead during the counting of votes in India’s national election in Lucknow, India, Tuesday, 4 June 2024 (AP)

Mr Yadav called it a landmark victory for the state’s backward classes, Dalits and minorities.

“Dear intelligent voters of Uttar Pradesh, the victory of the INDIA bloc in the state is also the victory of the Untouchable and backward classes which, along with backward, minority, tribal, women and all neglected, exploited, oppressed, backwards among the upper castes, has fought shoulder to shoulder to save the Constitution that gives the right to equality, respect, self-respect, dignified life, and reservation,” he wrote on X.

Modi prepares for record 3rd term as nations congratulate his government on election victory

Wednesday 5 June 2024 11:47 , Namita Singh

China, Ukraine and other nations sent their congratulations on Wednesday as prime minister Narendra Modi’s government began preparations for his swearing-in for a record third term following the world’s largest democratic election.

Mr Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party planned to meet with allies later Wednesday to discuss the government’s formation.

Official results from the Election Commission showed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won 294 of the 543 seats, more than the 272 needed for a majority but far fewer than had been expected. For the first time since the BJP swept to power in 2014, it did not secure a majority on its own, winning 240 seats, far fewer than the record 303 it won in the 2019 election.

Mr Modi met on Wednesday with Indian president Droupadi Murmu and tendered his customary resignation along with that of his Cabinet ahead of the swearing-in ceremony expected in several days.

Congratulatory messages to Mr Modi from leaders of regional countries including Nepal and Bhutan were the first to arrive, while the White House commended India for its “vibrant democratic process.”

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Wednesday extended congratulations to the BJP.

“A sound and stable India-China relationship is in the interest of both countries and conducive to the peace and development of this region and beyond,” she said, adding that China is ready to work with India in the fundamental interest of the two countries.





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