Elections

Modi Sworn In for Third Term, But Coalition Government Signals Shift in Indian Politics

Main image to the post Modi Sworn In for Third Term, But Coalition Government Signals Shift in Indian Politics

Narendra Modi has commenced his third term as India's prime minister following his election victory. The swearing-in ceremony was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the Indian president in New Delhi, with regional leaders and high security measures in place.

Despite winning the election, Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell short of a parliamentary majority, securing 240 seats out of the 272 required. This is significantly fewer than the record 303 seats they won in the 2019 election.

As a result, the 73-year-old Modi has been compelled to form a coalition government as leader of the BJP-led National Democratic Coalition. This coalition, which controls 293 seats, includes several smaller regional parties.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by a large gathering of guests, including the heads of neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Prominent figures from the Indian business and entertainment industries were also present, including Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, two of India's wealthiest industrialists, and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

New Delhi was placed under tight security for the event, with over 2,500 police officers deployed around the venue and a no-fly zone declared.

Analysts believe that Modi's dependence on coalition parties will likely moderate some of the authoritarian tendencies observed in his previous governance. This will necessitate a shift towards consensus politics, forcing the prime minister to engage with diverse viewpoints.

According to Milan Vaishnav, an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard, Modi's nationalist message has lost its appeal among voters. "This election, even if Prime Minister Modi retains power, shows the power of India's democracy," said Vaishnav.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09