Modi sworn in as prime minister for third time

Narendra Modi was sworn into his third term as India’s prime minister on Sunday, making him only the nation’s second prime minister to secure a third five-year term.

Modi, alongside his Cabinet ministers, took the oath of office, administered by President Droupadi Murmu, at India’s presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Polls overwhelmingly suggested a blowout for Modi, but India’s opposition defied expectations and posed a serious risk to his majority. Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which won in 2014 and 2015, won 240 seats, failing to secure the 272 seats needed for a parliamentary majority.

Modi’s political opponent, the INDIA alliance, doubled its numbers from the last election, winning 232 seats, the AP reported.

Opposition leaders in India celebrated the election results as a win for democracy for the nation.

“The main thing that this election has said, the country has clearly and unanimously stated: We do not want Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to be involved in running of this country,” Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India’s powerful political dynasty, the Nehru-Gandhi family, said at a party press conference last week.

Shah is Modi’s minister of home affairs and close ally.

“We do not like the way they have run this country. We do not appreciate the way they have attacked the Constitution. That is a huge message to Narendra Modi,” Gandhi added.

Biden congratulated Modi and his National Democratic Alliance coalition for their victory last week.

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance on their victory, and the nearly 650 million voters in this historic election,” Biden said on the social platform X.

“The friendship between our nations is only growing as we unlock a shared future of unlimited potential,” Biden added.

Modi, 73, confirmed he received Biden’s phone call and that he was “happy to receive [a] call from my friend President Joe Biden.”

“Deeply value his warm words of felicitations and his appreciation for the Indian democracy,” Modi said on X.

While the elections brought shocking results, there is unlikely to be a significant change in India-U.S. relations, experts said.

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