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24.05.2019 Europe

Indian Prime Minister Modi poised for a second term

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
MAY 24, 2019 EUROPE

A landslide victory is nearly certain as the Election Commission showed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Baratiya Janata party had won 92 =out of 542 seats and was leading in 211 other constituencies .

Modi tweeted, “India wins yet again.”
His social media presence, which includes some 47.4 million twitter followers, and his regular WhatsApp messages served him well in the election.

Modi, 68, spoke to thousands of celebrating BJP party workers on Thursday night, pointing out that it was his pro-poor polices providing relief for struggling farmers and the free medical insurance that have helped BJP sail to victory.

His economic reforms have not been seen as a positive move by all Indians, especially those who do not benefit from his Hindu-first platform. Despite that, his popularity as a man of the people remains.

The end of the Gandhi dynasty?
Congress party president Rahul Gandhi conceded his Amethi constituency parliamentary seat in northern Uttar Pradesh after the usually safe Congress Party seat flipped to BJP.

Gandhi, the head of the political dynasty that includes Jawaharal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, considered by his rivals as removed from the people, was still ahead in the polls in another seat he was contesting in Kerala in the south.

Indian election law permits candidates to run in more than one constituency.

Only a simple majority of 272 seats is needed under Indian law to govern. If BJP maintains its lead, forming a coalition will not be necessary to stay in power. It could even garner more seats than in 2014, when it won 282 seats.

If the lead is maintained, it would be the first time BJP has won two consecutive elections on its own.