Modi claims victory in Indian election


NEW DELHI (AP) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory Tuesday for his alliance in India’s general election, claiming a mandate to push forward with his agenda, even though his party lost seats to a stronger than expected opposition, which pushed back against his mixed economic record and polarizing politics.

“Today’s victory is the victory of the world’s largest democracy,” Modi told the crowd at his party’s headquarters, saying Indian voters had “shown immense faith” both in his party and his National Democratic Alliance coalition.

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Modi’s win was only the second time an Indian leader has retained power for a third term after Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister. But also, for the first time since his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party swept to power in 2014, it did not secure a majority on its own, meaning he will need the support of other parties in his coalition — a stunning blow for the 73-year-old, who had hoped for a landslide victory.

The party may now be “heavily dependent on the goodwill of its allies, which makes them critical players who we can expect will extract their pound of flesh, both in terms of policymaking as well as government formation,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


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