India’s Narendra Modi takes office as the country’s prime minister for a third term

India’s Narendra Modi takes office as the country’s prime minister for a third term

After losing the absolute majority in the election, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party formed a multi-partner coalition government.

Narendra Modi has been sworn in as India’s prime minister for a third term after a shock electoral upset that will test his ability to ensure political certainty in a coalition government in the world’s most populous nation.

Indian President Draupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Modi on Sunday at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace, the presidential palace in New Delhi, attended by thousands of dignitaries, including leaders of seven neighbouring countries, Bollywood stars and industrialists.

“Honoured to serve India,” Modi posted on X, referring to India’s name in Indian languages, minutes before taking charge.

Supporters clapped, cheered and chanted “Modi, Modi” as the 73-year-old leader, dressed in a white kurta and half blue jacket, was called to take the oath.

Upon taking office, Modi, along with officials of his Hindu nationalist party and leaders of his coalition partners, promised to defend India’s Constitution.

Following Modi were senior ministers from the previous government: Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Piyush Goyal, among others, whose portfolios are yet to be announced.

Narendra Modi greets the crowd as he arrives to take oath as Prime Minister of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, India [Manish Swarup/AP]

Modi, who began as a pracharak for the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is the second person after independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru to serve three consecutive terms as prime minister.

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He secured a third term in office after a multi-stage election held on June 1 with the support of 14 regional parties in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. His party had won an absolute majority in the previous two terms.

challenges ahead

Despite the united front, Zoya Hasan, a political analyst at New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University, told news agency AFP that Modi’s new alliance could lead to confrontation in the future.

“Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar are shrewd politicians. So, in a way, Modi can match these two,” he said, referring to two BJP allies who do not share the BJP’s nationalist agenda.

“He has friends all across the hall. And the opposition will definitely woo him,” Hasan said.

Modi is also under pressure to ensure that India’s economic inequality does not grow.

India’s economy grew 8.2% last fiscal year, one of the fastest rates among major economies.

But domestically, a lack of adequate jobs, high prices, low incomes and religious divisions caused voters to take control of him.

“The middle class is the driving force of the country,” Modi said at a coalition meeting on Friday.

“In the days to come, we will work to increase the savings of the middle class, improve their quality of life, and see what changes need to be made to our rules to achieve this.”

Source: News Agencies

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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