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Saturday, July 20, 2024

‘Stunning setback’, ‘Modi loses aura of invincibility’: How global media reported NDA’s victory in Lok Sabha elections

After what could be termed as a neck-and-neck fight between the NDA and the Opposition INDIA alliance, which managed to secure 232 seats in the elections, the mandate turned out to be not exactly what the PM who spearheaded the BJP campaign, may have hoped for.

India on Tuesday voted in a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance for a third term in a row as they won 293 Lok Sabha seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing party workers at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on June 4, hailed the mandate for the NDA and a successive third term, and said, “For the first time since 1962, a government has returned for the third time after completing its two terms.” After what could be termed as a neck-and-neck fight between the NDA and the Opposition INDIA bloc, which managed to secure 232 seats in the elections, the mandate turned out to be not exactly what the PM who spearheaded the BJP campaign, may have hoped for.

In contrast to exit poll predictions which gave a landslide win to the ruling alliance, the BJP fell short of a majority on its own and thus appeared dependent on alliance partners to form the government.

While wishes continue to pour in from across the world for PM Modi and the NDA, we take a look at how the global media reported the event:

‘Indian election delivers stunning setback to Modi and his party’: The Washington Post

The American daily The Washington Post called India’s Lok Sabha election results 2024 as determined by Indian voters to be an “unexpected repudiation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.”

Calling it a “stunning setback to Modi and his party,” the Post stated that the results pierced the “aura of invincibility around the most dominant Indian politician in decades.”

“For the first time in years, Modi seemed vulnerable,” the Post highlighted.

‘Modi loses parliamentary majority in Indian election’: The Guardian

“… it was clear that the landslide for the BJP predicted in polls had not materialised and instead there had been a pushback against the strongman prime minister and his Hindu nationalist politics in swathes of the country,” The Guardian stated right away at the beginning of its story, describing how the results stood as an “unexpected blow” to PM Modi.

The British daily also noted that the BJP sensed a “sign of nervousness” during the election campaign and “turned to more polarising religious rhetoric.” It also pointed out the resilience and the success of the Opposition INDIA bloc, which grappled with frozen “party funds and jailed opposition leaders in the buildup to the polls.”

‘India’s Modi claims victory as he heads for reduced majority’: BBC

Underlining that the PM was headed for a reduced majority in the Lok Sabha elections this year, the BBC stated, “the election was seen by many as a referendum on Mr Modi’s decade in office, during which he has transformed many aspects of life in India, so this would be a major upset.”

BBC reporters, moreover, described the mood in BJP offices around the country as “sombre.” The report also acknowledged the fight put up by the Opposition parties against the BJP. “The BJP and its rivals fought a fierce – at times vitriolic – campaign, with the prime minister denying that he was being divisive when he was accused by rivals of demonising Muslims,” it stated.

‘Needing Help to Stay in Power, Modi Loses His Aura of Invincibility’: The New York Times

The New York Times started its report by noting, “Suddenly, the aura of invincibility around Narendra Modi has been shattered.”

Terming the results as “unexpectedly sobering,” the NYT noted that they were a “sharp reversal a decade into Mr. Modi’s transformational tenure.”

“For Mr. Modi, a generous reading of the outcome could be that only with his personal push could his party overcome its unpopularity at the local level and scrape by. Or it could be that his carefully cultivated brand has now peaked, and that he can no longer outrun the anti-incumbency sentiment that eventually catches up with almost any politician,” reporters at the New York Times emphasised.

‘India election results: A setback for PM Modi?’: DW

Deutsche Welle quoted the political scientist and senior fellow at the Center for Policy Research, Gilles Verniers, who claimed that the election was a “personal setback for the prime minister.”

“This is uncharted territory for the new BJP, who will be confronted with two choices: either convert to the art of political conciliation or press down further the path of autocracy. The future will tell us which way the PM will choose, a choice that will define India’s standing and trajectory,” DW quoted Verniers.

‘Narendra Modi suffers surprise loss of majority in India election’: The Telegraph

The Telegraph, referred to the election results as a “surprise loss of majority,” for PM Modi, and said that they were alien to the Bharatiya Janata Party which had enjoyed a “virtual carte blanche” over governance of the country for the past decade.”

The report also noted that the atmosphere at BJP victory party was “considerably muted.” It also highlighted a report by Bloomberg, which called the victory celebrations as “a marked departure from the 2019 election, when the margin of victory triggered instant celebration.”

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