Modi’s Biggest Test: Keeping Unruly Allies in Line for 3rd Term

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling BJP has emerged as the single largest party in India’s 2024 polls, but failed to cross the halfway mark required for a simple majority. With 240 seats out of 543, the BJP is short of the 272 seats needed to form government on its own. But PM Modi led NDA enjoys a majority mark with 293 seats in the new Lok Sabha.  

This setback paves the way for a complex coalition era with Modi being forced to stitch together an alliance involving regional parties like the Telugu Desam Party and Janata Dal (United) among others to cobble together a ruling majority.

  • BJP  gets 240 seats, falls short of 272 majority mark.
  • Modi led NDA got a majority with 293 seats.
  • Modi needs to stitch a coalition involving regional allies .
  • Congress springs a surprise, emerges as the main national challenger.
  • Markets nervous over prospects of an unstable coalition.
  • Modi renews “developed India” vision, poverty alleviation promise.
  • Deft negotiation skills needed to keep allies in line.

As pollsters and pundits wrote his political obituary, Narendra Modi has pulled off yet another victory against all odds in India’s latest parliamentary elections. However, it’s the fine print that paints a complex picture for the legendary politician who is set to govern the world’s largest democracy for an unprecedented third straight term.

As per the recent NDA meeting at PM’s residence, and endorsement by all coalition partners, it is likely that the oath ceremony will be on June 8, 2024. Some sources are claiming the oath ceremony will be held on June 9, 2024. If there is no change within the BJP in coming days there is all possibility that Narendra Modi will take charge of a third term as India’s Prime Minister. 

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as the single largest party, winning 240 out of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. But the tally falls well short of the 272 halfway mark needed for a clear majority. But PM Modi will continue as Prime Minister as prepoll alliance NDA enjoys majority mark with 293 seats. This means Modi will have to go through the intricate motions of coalition diplomacy once again to get past the magical number.

This time BJP failed to open its account in nine states. While Congress could not win even a single seat in 12 states. BJP did not get any seat in Tamil Nadu, the largest state in the south. Similarly, despite the BJP coalition government in Puducherry at the centre, Congress once again won the only seat there.

One of the biggest reasons for BJP’s poor performance is its performance in big states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bengal and Maharashtra. In fact, the saying is proving true in Indian politics that ‘the road to Delhi goes through Lucknow.’

In Uttar Pradesh, BJP has won 33 seats on its own and 36 seats with its alliance partners. In the 2014 elections, BJP had sent 71 MPs from UP to the Lok Sabha and in 2019 it won 62 seats on its own and two with its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal). 

Reaching out to potential allies like Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) will be his immediate priority. But it’s not going to be easy for him given the notoriously fragile nature of such compulsions.

As veteran political analysts point out, managing fractious allies with conflicting ideologies and demands for greater autonomy is where even Modi’s finest political skills will be pushed to the limit in the days and months ahead.

The BJP’s hopes of single-party rule have been dashed by the surprise resurgence of the Congress party under Rahul Gandhi. By winning 99 seats, the Grand Old Party of Indian politics has regained its legitimacy as Modi’s main national challenger.  

The opposition Congress also made surprising gains, bolstering its position as Modi’s main national challenger. Markets reacted nervously to the prospects of an unstable coalition taking over the reins in New Delhi.

There was a huge fall in the stock market on Tuesday amid the Lok Sabha election results. Sensex and Nifty closed with a fall of about 6-6%. This is the biggest fall in the market in a single day in the last 4 years. Earlier in March 2020, the market had broken in a similar manner. If we talk about government companies, a decline of up to 25% has been seen in the shares of BHEL, Rail Vikas Nigam, REC and PFC. At the same time, shares of Adani Ports among Adani Group companies closed with a decline of more than 21 percent.

While Modi projected confidence in his latest speech at the BJP headquarters, promising inclusive development, poverty alleviation and jobs for the youth, several hurdles lie ahead for his third inning. Critical areas like economic reforms, tackling rising inflation and joblessness, resolving long-pending conflicts like in Kashmir require deft political management.

And that’s only one part of Modi’s unenviable task. The bigger challenge for Brand Modi is to prevent the coalition from collapsing under the ambition and egos of regional parties, each vying for greater leverage and bargaining power.

■ Also Read: Election Results 2024: लोकसभा चुनाव 2024 के परिणाम, जानें किसकी हार और किसकी सरकार

Despite his stellar mass appeal and cult status amongst supporters, Modi may now have to pay the price of leading a coalition of multiple ideologies, where routine government policy-making can often get derailed by internal pulls and pressures.

“The real test of Modi’s statesmanship begins now. How he prevents internal revolts and keeps his allies in check while pursuing his developmental agenda will shape the legacy of his third term,” says Rajeev Kumar, a senior fellow at the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation think tank. 

Already, Naidu and Kumar have dropped ample hints on the kind of bargaining chips they’re likely to place on the table – greater financial autonomy for their states, ministerial berths at the center and control over sectors like agriculture to appease their rural vote banks.

Add to this the backdrop of an aggressive opposition not willing to give Modi a free pass, and the road ahead could turn out to be the bumpiest of his entire political career spanning over two decades.

Yet, if anyone knows the art of defying odds and scripting new narratives from seemingly hopeless situations, it’s the man from Vadnagar in Gujarat, say his admirers. Having built the BJP’s formidable election machinery from scratch and campaigned like a tireless warrior even at 72, Modi knows the taste of victory and the challenges it brings along.

As the celebrations gave way to sobriety over the past week, Team Modi has swung into serious deliberations on government formation. Sources say back-channel talks are already underway to get the arithmetic right, with the promise of a full cabinet reshuffle and new policy measures in the months ahead.

The clock’s ticking though for the master strategist who has consistently punched above his weight ever since he burst into national prominence in 2014. With the political sands shifting rapidly, can Modi fashion his strongest term yet at the helm? Or will he be bogged down by the compulsions of coalition dharma? Only time will tell as Indian democracy braces for another gripping saga.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Spiritual teachings can provide a much-needed moral compass and sense of perspective. 

In times of political upheaval and instability, spiritual teachings can provide a much-needed moral compass and sense of perspective. The philosophy propagated by Sant Rampal Ji lays great emphasis on rising above petty conflicts, treading the path of righteousness (dharma) and acting in the larger interests of society.

Sant Ji advocated putting moral values like truth, compassion and integrity above narrow self-interests. Political parties could be guided to shed partisan agendas and work together on issues of national importance. Read sacred book GyanGanga to explore truth.

Q1. What was the result of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections?

NDA got majority mark with 293 seats to continue PM Modi for third term. Where as BJP emerged as the single largest party with 240 seats fell short of the 272 halfway mark required for a simple majority.

Q2. Why does Modi need to form a coalition government?

As BJP is unable to cross the majority mark on its own, Prime Minister Modi will have to stitch together an alliance involving regional parties like TDP, JDU among others to get past the 272 halfway mark. However it is a Modi led pre poll alliance NDA.

Q3. How did the Congress party perform in these elections?

The Congress achieved 99 seats in a surprisingly strong performance, emerging as the main national opposition party in parliamant. 

Q4. What was the market reaction to the poll results?

The Stock Markets in India reacted nervously to the prospect of an unstable coalition government taking over the reins in New Delhi that may lead to policy gridlock and U-turns.

Q5. What were some of Modi’s key promises in his latest speech?

Modi maintains his vision for a “developed India”, corruption free India and uplifting millions from poverty during his third term.

Q6. What will be Modi’s biggest challenge in his third term?

In coalition era, Modi’s biggest challenge will be to carry all allies along and achieving his agenda. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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