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Modi Declares Victory Despite Weaker Mandate

June 6, 20241:58

For the first time in ten years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost its parliamentary majority. While Modi is poised to secure a third term, his party will now need to rely on coalition partners to govern. Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of the Indo-Pacific Program, talks about the impact of the election result, governing challenges that lie ahead for Prime Minister Modi, and whether or not he will be willing to make compromises with his coalition partners.

Video Transcript

  • This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

    The impact of this election result in the gains made by the opposition are that you will have a resurgent, re-energized, revitalized opposition alliance. You know, the opposition alliance has been in place for several years, but it has had a reputation for being quite weak, fractured and divided and not very effective. But given that the opposition did so well in this election, and given that the BJP and its alliance lost about 60 seats, that is going to, I think, make it easier for the opposition to push back and pressure. 

    Modi and his coalition, this will be the first time that Modi will ever have to govern within a coalition. In the past, his party has been able to, to run the show totally on its own. So I think that is a notable impact here that coming out of this election, you're going to see Modi facing the pressures of having to govern within a coalition and also having to grapple with an opposition that is, emboldened by its performance in the election. 

    The immediate question now, as the new government prepares to take over, Modi will be sworn in for his third term on June 8th. How will he do leading a coalition? He's never done it before, so there's going to be a lot of questions about will he be willing to make compromises in order to get the type of buy in and support he'll need from his coalition partners? His politics are not known for being conciliatory and compromising. He tends to govern very boldly, robustly. Some say with an iron fist. So I think one of the questions is how does he navigate coalition, governance, given that his governing style doesn't really match up well with what you would need to do to be successful in a governing coalition.


Michael Kugelman

Michael Kugelman

Director, South Asia Institute
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Indo-Pacific Program

The Indo-Pacific Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on US interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more