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Parliamentary elections: India’s Prime Minister Modi sworn in for third term

Parliamentary elections: India’s Prime Minister Modi sworn in for third term

Modi’s Hindu nationalist party had lost its absolute majority in the parliamentary elections. Now it was able to agree on a government with coalition partners.

Narendra Modi has been sworn in as India’s Prime Minister for the third time in a row. The Hindu nationalist, who has been in power since 2014, took the oath of office for another five years on Sunday evening (local time) in front of President Draupadi Murmu’s official residence in the capital New Delhi. Members of his new cabinet were then sworn in. Modi is only the country’s second Prime Minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to serve a third term.

Modi’s BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party – Party of the Indian People) lost its absolute majority in the lower house for the first time in ten years in the parliamentary election, but remained the strongest force. It secured 240 of the 543 seats up for election. The BJP was therefore dependent on its coalition partners – small, regional parties – to form a government, with whom it achieved more than the 272 seats needed for a majority.

Focus on supporting poorer sections of the population

Modi recently said that his new government would focus on economic development and supporting poorer sections of the population. During the election campaign, the BJP had relied mainly on a personality cult around Modi as a god-like leader. It propagated a Hindu nationalist agenda according to which India should become a state only for the Hindu majority, which makes up 80 percent of the population.

Under Modi, the country that is now the most populous in the world has also become the fifth largest economy in the world. However, only a small minority is benefiting from the growth. According to official figures, more than half of the population can only survive on welfare. Analysts pointed out that the people’s vote clearly demanded that Modi change course. His term of office is set for five years.

Source: Stern

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