Modi re-elected as Indian prime minister after bitter election battle

Narendra Modi secured a third term as India’s prime minister following hard-fought elections involving nearly one billion voters determined to shape history in the world’s largest democracy.

According to the Election Commission the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, secured 272 seats with only a handful of constituencies left to delcare, enough for a majority in the 543-seat parliament, results on the commission website showed.

Modi's swearing-in as prime minister will see the 73-year-old join the ranks of Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first prime minister who served from 1947 to 1964.

Despite what the "shortfall," Modi attempted to energise his enthusiastic BJP supporters, who had hoped for a victory of "400-plus" seats after ten politically tumultuous years in office.

Modi’s vows

"Ten years ago, there was a mandate for change," Modi said, targeting the opposition coalition. "At that time, the country was in a depression and counted among the 'fragile five.'"

Referring to the 28-party INDIA Bloc, which secured or was leading in 232 seats in the elections that began on 1 April and concluded on Saturday, Modi noted, "INDIA Bloc did not win as many seats as the BJP alone did."

"In the last 10 years, we have lifted 250 million people out of poverty... We won't stop until poverty becomes a thing of the past," said Modi, who on Tuesday won from the sacred Hindu constituency of Varanasi with his lowest-ever margin of 152,513 votes.

Analysts suggest that the BJP might need to rely more on smaller members of the NDA, as two of its key alliance parties do not align with Modi's Hindu-centric agenda.

Read more on RFI English

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