India's Modi nails coalition, invited to form government

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo/AFP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formally secured his third term in office after an unexpectedly close election forced his party to rely on coalition partners to keep him in power.

Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled outright for the past decade but failed to repeat its previous two landslide wins this time around, defying analyst expectations and exit polls.

He was instead forced into quick-fire talks with the 15-member National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, which guaranteed him the parliamentary numbers to govern, although there are no indications yet of any concessions he may have had to offer in return.

Modi presented signed letters of support showing his majority to President Droupadi Murmu, who in turn invited him to form the next government.

"I thank the people that they gave the NDA government a third chance to serve them," Modi said on Friday evening.

"This is the opportunity and will of the people and I thank them with my heart for this opportunity," he said.

Modi earlier addressed a meeting inside India's parliament of nearly 300 lawmakers forming his coalition and thanked them for unanimously supporting his leadership.

Concessions to allies

The meeting was a formality after the leaders of each party guaranteed their backing this week.

The alliance will wield 293 seats in the lower house of parliament out of a total of 543.

While it remains unknown what concessions Modi's allies have wrung in return for their support, media reports this week have suggested several are seeking plum ministerial posts.

The Indian Express reported on Friday that Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh which holds 16 seats would press for the revival of plans to build a new state legislative capital.

Kumar's Janata Dal (United) party of Bihar state, the BJP's second-largest ally, was seeking a review of a contentious army recruitment scheme introduced by the government in 2022 to cut military expenditure.


Source: TRT