India election forecasts: Modi heading for narrow majority

New Delhi, Jun. 4, (dpa/GNA) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling coalition is forecast to win the country’s parliamentary elections, but an expected landslide victory is unlikely to materialize, according to initial results.

The opposition appears to be doing better than expected, local media reported on Tuesday as early vote counts came in.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party, BJP) will have to rely on its coalition partners to form a government in future, Indian media reported.

This would nevertheless secure Modi a third five-year term in office.

Modi had set the bar high for success in the election campaign. He predicted that the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, led by Modi’s BJP, would win more than 400 of the 543 seats up for grabs in the lower house and expand its majority.

Modi was confident of victory shortly after the last polling stations closed at the weekend: “I can say with confidence that the people of India have voted in record numbers to reelect the NDA government,” the prime minister wrote on social media platform X.

As India is the world’s most populous country, the election to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, was the largest election in the world, lasting some six weeks.

The BJP has taken a strongly Hindu nationalist stance. Critics and the opposition fear that, if he is re-elected, he could try to change the constitution of the South Asian country in order to further consolidate this course.