BJP falls short of simple majority, Forced to form coalition government

Congress supporters celebrate as BJP falls

Congress supporters celebrate as BJP falls short of simple majority

In a dramatic turn of events in India’s Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost its simple majority won 240 seats and will need to form a coalition government.

According to the Election Commission of India, the BJP and its allies secured 295 seats, while the Congress-led ‘India’ alliance won 231 seats, with 17 seats going to other parties.

The BJP itself won 240 seats, falling short of the 272 seats required for a simple majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The Congress won 99 seats. Despite BJP’s ambitious slogan of “400 Par” (aiming for more than 400 seats), the results were disappointing, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visibly affected by the outcome.

In a significant setback, the BJP faced defeat in its stronghold of Uttar Pradesh, including Ayodhya, where the party, which had championed the construction of the Ram Temple, suffered a crushing defeat. Additionally, BJP’s prominent figure Smriti Irani lost to Congress candidate Kishori Lal by 167,000 votes. The Congress-led alliance also gained substantial ground in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra.

As the elections for the 543-member Parliament continued, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) achieved a simple majority but fell short of a two-thirds majority.

In Hyderabad, Asaduddin Owaisi of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen defeated BJP candidate Madhavi Latha by over 300,000 votes. Latha’s symbolic act of shooting an arrow at a mosque during her campaign was seen as harassment of Muslims and backfired electorally.

In Occupied Kashmir, two former Chief Ministers, Umar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, lost their seats. The BJP alliance managed to win only 2 out of 6 seats in the region, which political experts have described as a setback for the party.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged the results, stating that the people have entrusted the NDA for the third consecutive term, marking a historic achievement. He expressed gratitude to the Indian electorate and assured that the government would continue to work towards fulfilling their aspirations. He also commended his party workers for their dedication.

On the other hand, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused secret agencies, the bureaucracy, and part of the judiciary of working against the party. He emphasized that their campaign aimed to protect the Indian Constitution, highlighting the struggle against the current governance.

The election results had a significant impact on the Indian stock market. While exit polls had predicted a substantial victory for Modi’s NDA, the actual results led to a market crash. Notably, billionaire Gautam Adani faced considerable financial losses.

The final tally and the ensuing coalition formation will be crucial in shaping India’s political landscape in the coming years.