India’s elections results around the world


How have media agencies around the world reacted to the BJP’s successive victory in the world’s largest democracy? It is a mix of praise for the BJP’s political acumen and the possible failure of the regional domination of the Indian National Congress.

The Japan Times described the election result as a “stunning win” for the BJP. Official data from India’s Election Commission showed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party ahead in 298 of the 542 seats available, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of Parliament. That would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984.

“Together we will build a strong and inclusive India,” Modi said on Twitter on Thursday. “India wins yet again!”

Modi’s victory boosted financial markets as investors expect his government will continue to pursue economic reforms. He will be under pressure to create employment for the tens of millions of young people coming on to the jobs market in the next few years and to boost depressed farm incomes.

The Washington Post was critical of the Congress’ failure to capitalize on the BJP’s failings since 2014. The Indian National Congress, which governed India for much of its post-independence history, there were no silver linings to a consecutive devastating defeat.

The party won just 52 seats out of 543 up for grabs in the country’s parliament. In 14 Indian states, it failed to win a single seat. Even the party president, Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, lost in a constituency that had been held by his family for decades.

Now the party must assess what went wrong and decide whether to change its leadership or strategy in a political scene dominated by Modi and an aggressive BJP.

The BBC, which has been unsympathetic to the BJP’s policies, highlighted the consequential defeat of candidates who are from established political dynasties. In Indian politics, it's not often that the sons of current and former ministers lose an election. These defeats reinforce the fact that Mr Modi's brand of politics - personality-driven, vocal and nationalistic - is here to stay.

The BBC added that the leader of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi lost his family stronghold, Amethi, to Smriti Irani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But the results were not so bad for other dynasts.

Around 30% of the elected MPs are from political families, up from a quarter on average from elections between 2004 and 2014, a study by Trivedi Centre for Political Data suggests. But it's the defeat of Mr Gandhi and several other prominent dynasts that has raised questions if family ties still work in Indian politics.

The Straits Times (Singapore) commented on the tiring campaign which saw Modi's BJP defying predictions of a dip in support and increase its majority in the election, sweeping 303 out of 543 elected seats in parliament. "The coming five years are going to be unprecedented for India as well as the world. It is time for India to regain it position globally. India will be influencing the world economy," he said. Varanasi, the location for the victory rally before his new government was due to be sworn was Modi's constituency in the election which ended last week.