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The Asia-Pacific Report

Sameera Casmod |
13 June 2024 | 20:06 SAST
2-minute read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to secure the overwhelming majority it sought in the recent national elections.

With the BJP winning approximately 240 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, Modi will now lead a coalition government, marking a departure from the previous two terms where the BJP enjoyed a dominant position.

The election results necessitate that the BJP collaborate closely with smaller regional parties, which have now gained substantial leverage.

The smaller parties that the BJP is working with in the Lok Sabha are using the BJP’s decline as leverage to demand more agency in the government’s decision-making process, research associate at the Centre for Global Dialogue, Sanusha Naidu, said earlier today during the Asia-Pacific Report on Radio Islam International.

This shift complicates governance for the BJP, as it must balance the diverse interests and demands of its coalition allies.

While the BJP remains the largest party, the election results have emboldened opposition parties, particularly the Indian National Congress.

The opposition has made notable inroads at the regional level, challenging the BJP’s dominance. This development signals a shift in the political landscape, with opposition parties now more confident in their ability to contest the BJP’s policies and strategies.

“The election, what it did for Congress and other opposition parties particularly, is that it gives them the sense that the BJP is not invincible,” Naidu said.

The BJP’s campaign, aimed at consolidating its footprint across India, has met with mixed results. Despite not securing a decisive majority, the BJP continues to hold substantial influence.

However, the need for coalition governance introduces complexities that could slow down the party’s legislative agenda and policy implementation.

Naidu says that regional issues have played a crucial role in this election. Issues such as economic policies, unemployment, and the contentious handling of agricultural reforms have fuelled discontent among voters, particularly farmers. These factors have contributed to the erosion of the BJP’s support in certain areas, providing the opposition with opportunities to capitalise on local grievances.

As Modi enters his third term, the political environment in India is set to be more contentious and dynamic.

Naidu also weighed in on South African political developments, saying that the IFP’s indication that it will join the ANC, DA, and IFP in Kwa Zulu Natal and Gauteng is a broad insight into how the governing arrangement will play out.

“I think it’s important as well to note that the provinces do play a critical role to how this will play out at the national level. I think it’s still very much difficult to actually say what will happen after Friday, when the Deputy Speaker and President are elected. But again, I think that it tells you how complex this is right now in a governing arrangement,” Naidu said.

The Government of National Unity will be a very fragile governing arrangement, Naidu predicts, and says that a strong, unified collaboration is integral to the stability of the country.

Listen to the Asia Pacific Report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat.


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