A month-and-a-half since the first phase of polling began and seven phases of polling were held between April 21 and May 19 in 542 constituencies across 29 states and seven union territories, India's parliamentary election results are being announced.
The results indicate that the ruling right-wing alliance led by incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, is set to sweep the polls.
The National Democratic Alliance, or NDA — with Modi's BJP as the lead party — has won or is leading in 353 of the 542 constituencies.
Of these, the BJP is likely to take 302 constituencies, giving it in an absolute majority, which could give it the freedom to function unhindered with respect to all aspects of governance.
The Indian National Congress, or INC — the main opposition party and part of the United Progressive Alliance — has come a distant second, likely taking only 51 of the seats.
The INC is the grand old party of India and is led by Rahul Gandhi, who is the great-grandson of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Even with the tally from allies, the INC-led UPA is on track to muster only 90 seats, while others who are unallied are poised to take the remaining seats.
Modi tweeted this thanks Thursday:
Thank you India! The faith placed in our alliance is humbling and gives us strength to work even harder to fulfil people's aspirations.
I salute every BJP Karyakarta for their determination, perseverance & hardwork. They went home to home, elaborating on our development agenda.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2019
Of the 900 million registered INdian voters, about 67 percent cast their votes in the election.
Why It's Important
The BJP fought in the election, drumming up nationalist sentiment and Hindu ideologies. Several populist welfare measures announced by the government seem to have come in handy.
This is despite several criticisms leveled at the government in the run-up to the elections, including rising joblessness; a falling currency reflective of weakening economic fundamentals; monetary demonetization that was intended to flush out undeclared money but put everyday people under a lot of difficulty; and the hugely unpopular GST, a unified tax system.
The clear mandate the BJP received is likely to allow the government leeway to loosen monetary and fiscal policies, likely aiding growth, CNBC reported, quoting Edelweiss Group.
Modi has managed to strike a chord with most leaders, including President Donald Trump. That said, skirmishes with Pakistan and India's uneasy relationship with China will likely continue.
The continuity in the regime, the scope for increased liberalization and the government's infrastructure push could make India more appealing to foreign investors.
With the final tally to be declared soon, the BJP in all likelihood will be called by the president to form the government.
Modi is all set for a second stint, although he a balancing act is required to both revive the economy and deliver on his promise of inclusive growth.
India's stock market gauge — the Sensex — rose about 3.7 percent Monday when the exit poll results predicting a landslide victory for the NDA were released. Since then, the index has been seeing a consolidation move.
The DIREXION SHS ET/DIREXION DAILY INDI (NYSE: INDL) was down more than 1 percent at $72 at the time of publication Thursday.
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Photo by A. Savin via Wikimedia.
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