A New Era of Coalition Politics in India, Marked by Uncertainty and Challenges

Main image to the post A New Era of Coalition Politics in India, Marked by Uncertainty and Challenges

Narendra Modi was sworn in as India's Prime Minister for a third consecutive term on Sunday, marking the beginning of his third five-year term. The ceremony took place at the presidential palace in Delhi, with President Droupadi Murmu administering the oath. Thousands of guests attended, including foreign dignitaries and Bollywood celebrities.

This term, however, presents a new challenge for Modi. The BJP, his party, failed to secure a majority in the recent elections, forcing him to rely on a fragile coalition with regional allies. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won a total of 293 seats, securing a majority but with a smaller margin than expected.

A new cabinet was sworn in, featuring both new faces and familiar figures from the previous government. The decision on the new cabinet came after an 11-hour meeting at the Prime Minister's residence on Saturday, attended by strategist Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda.

The election results surprised many, as Modi's populist leadership has been criticized for using divisive politics and state agencies to target critics. Analysts believe this coalition government marks uncharted territory for Modi, who has always led with a majority.

The politics of coalition does not align well with Modi's "assertive and go-it-alone" style, according to Michael Kugelman, director of the Wilson Center's South Asia Institute. He believes the election results indicate a "receding Modi wave" and a level of electoral vulnerability that was previously unforeseen.

As Modi embarks on his third term with a new government, it remains to be seen how he will navigate the challenges and pressures of leading a coalition.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09