Coalition-era politics back with Modi 3.0

Friday, 07 Jun, 2024
PM Narendra Modi with coalition partners at his official residence in New Delhi. (Photo courtesy: X@narendramodi)

—  PM likely to take oath for third term on June 9; several global leaders to attend
—  TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu and JD- U leader Nitish Kumar bargain hard for cabinet births
—  All eyes on the BJP’s Chanakya, Amit Shah, for an unexpected turnaround of events

New Delhi: As the ‘Mahakumbh’ of elections concluded in India after a long spell amid scorching heat, a stunning outcome left millions of Indians shocked — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could not reach an absolute majority on its own after a decade of complete control.

At 240 seats, the BJP emerged as the single-largest party and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) reached only 292 seats. On the other hand, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) managed 234 seats, with the grand old party of India winning 99 seats on its own.

The popular ‘Ab Ki Baar, 400 Paar’ slogan remained elusive for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who now has to take the support of key alliance partners — N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) which won 16 seats and Nitish Kumar-led JD-U, which managed to grab 12 — to get back to power for the third time, thus bringing the coalition era back in the Indian politics.

The Indian election verdict was called a “win for democracy” by several global leaders. However, the fact remains that the BJP has emerged as the single largest party, getting more seats than the entire INDI Alliance. All eyes are now on the future role of BJP’s Chanakya, Amit Shah, who can swiftly turn things around.

According to reports, Modi is likely to take oath as the Prime Minister for the third time on June 9. He has tendered his resignation to President Droupadi Murmu, who accepted it and asked him to continue till the new government assumes office.

Before it happens, hectic parleys to get cabinet births have begun among the key NDA coalition partners as they bargain hard for top portfolios. The JD-U leaders have gathered at Nitish Kumar’s residence in New Delhi to chart the next course of action. According to reports, they also discussed the party's strategy for the Cabinet formation of the NDA government at the Centre.

While no official word on what they have demanded is out yet, the reports said that hectic negotiations are on at the moment. The BJP-led NDA parties were expected to meet President Murmu on June 7 and stake claim to form a government under Modi's leadership.

The NDA partners have unanimously chosen Narendra Modi as their leader. "We unanimously choose Narendra Modi as our leader," a proposal signed by 21 NDA members read. Congress has also convened its working committee meeting on June 8. The meeting will be chaired by Congress Chief Mallikarjun Kharge.

Meanwhile, Modi’s oath-taking ceremony will be a star-studded affair as many foreign leaders are on the guest list. These include Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Nepal Premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal, among others.

Wickremesinghe spoke with PM Modi over the phone and congratulated him on his historic electoral victory. It is to be recalled that in 2019, then President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena graced the swearing-in-ceremony of PM Modi following the resounding victory of the NDA in general elections. Hasina, among the first foreign leaders to congratulate PM Modi, is also likely to travel to the Indian capital for the event.

In 2019, then Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid attended the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi as Prime Minister Hasina was unable to travel in person because of a prior commitment. It is believed that invites are also being sent to leaders of several other neighboring countries as well, including Nepal, Bhutan, Mauritius, and Maldives.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke with PM Modi, congratulating him on his election victory and hoping that the Indian PM will visit Ukraine soon and attend the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland next week. Replying to Zelensky's message, PM Modi stated that India will continue to support peace, security, and prosperity for everyone in the region.

Are there more surprises waiting? Time will tell shortly.

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