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How Modi’s BJP lost its majority in India – World

The Indian PM’s Bharatiya Janata Party failed to secure an outright majority for the first time since the Hindu nationalist leader swept to power a decade ago.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will remain in office but with a substantially reduced mandate, confounding expectations of a resounding victory forecast by analysts and exit polls.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to secure an outright majority for the first time since the Hindu nationalist leader swept to power a decade ago, and will instead rely on coalition allies to govern.

AFP takes a look at the reasons why Modi and his party failed to achieve a third successive landslide win:

rhetoric against Muslims to unprecedented levels during his campaign in a bid to mobilise the Hindu majority.

At his rallies, he referred to Muslims as “infiltrators”, and claimed the main opposition Congress party would redistribute the nation’s wealth to Muslims if it won.

But the strategy failed to galvanise Hindu voters behind the BJP, while also solidifying minority communities’ support for the opposition.

The BJP’s vote share dropped nearly one point to 36.6 per cent from the last election five years ago, translating in India’s electoral system into a drop from 303 to 240 seats in the 543-member parliament.

Numerous voters over the course of the election told AFP that they were more concerned with India’s chronic unemployment problem than with the government’s ideological agenda.

“People were concerned about livelihood, unemployment, price rises,” Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, the author of a Modi biography, told AFP.

“They did not relate to what Modi and the BJP were saying.”

inaugurating a divisive Hindu temple built on the grounds of a razed mosque there.

“The opposition managed to put a sword back to him and Uttar Pradesh has shown resistance to his brand of politics,” political scientist Ramu Manivannan of the University of Denver told AFP.

48-hour meditation ritual in the southern coastal town of Kanyakumari last week when the vote was nearly over.

But the premier’s relentless campaigning did not translate into significant gains where they were needed.

The party failed to win a single seat in Tamil Nadu state — almost as populous as Germany with 84 million people — and won just one constituency in neighbouring Kerala, with a population of 35 million.

Manivannan said that “ideological resistance in the south” had played its part in the BJP’s lacklustre result.

Southern voters have typically backed regional parties strongly rooted in appeals to social justice policies and opposed the BJP, and Modi’s muscular Hindu-first ideology has held little appeal.

Header image: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes a victory sign as he arrives at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters to celebrate the party’s win in the country’s general election, in New Delhi on June 4, 2024. — AFP

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