Updated June 5th, 2024 at 18:46 IST

How World Media Reacted to Lok Sabha Election Results 2024

The BJP won 240 seats while Congress secured 99, paving way for the NDA to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

Reported by: Digital Desk
The BJP won 240 seats while Congress secured 99, paving way for the NDA to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha. | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: Soon after the people in the world's largest democracy delivered their verdict to elect the members of 18th Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) and subsequently, on the formation of new government at the Centre, the Western media – in its ever relentless pursuit of interference in India's internal matters – was quick to jump the guns with several publications reeking of their own agenda-setting narratives around a rather vibrant mandate delivered by the citizens in general elections the results for which were declared by the poll body late Tuesday night.

According to the results declared by the Election Commission for all Lok Sabha constituencies, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 240 while the Congress secured 99, paving way for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

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Claiming that “the aura of invincibility around Narendra Modi has been shattered”, the US-based New York Times began its report by terming the results “unexpectedly sobering”, as it went on to peddle the narrative of a “sharp reversal of a decade into Mr Modi’s transformational tenure”. 

The Washington Post, on the other hand, fed more into the Western agenda as it wrote: "For the past decade, India has been synonymous internationally with its prime minister, Narendra Modi. But on Tuesday, as final election results poured in, the electorate appeared to show dissatisfaction with the status quo and placed the serial winner onto shaky ground". 

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According to the WP report, there was “tepid support” for his party, “piercing the air of invincibility” around the most dominant Indian politician in decades.

Cable News Network (CNN), another American Media organisation, said, “Going into this election, Modi had set a goal of winning 400 seats in the lower house of parliament. But as results began to trickle in, it quickly became clear his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wouldn’t even have enough to form a simple majority”.

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For the first time since coming to power a decade ago, CNN report said, "Modi will be reliant on longstanding local coalition partners to keep him in government”.

According to CNN, the Lok Sabha results were a “humbling moment” for PM Modi “whose lead in the polls was lauded by supporters as unassailable”.

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Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper, in an editorial, wrote: “Modi’s victory, even if diluted, is certainly not a good omen for Pakistan”. Naturally, rebuilding trust will take time, but long-term peace in South Asia is impossible without better Pakistan-India ties, it claimed.

The Modi-led government, in its third-term, “might shift its focus towards domestic issues, prioritising public welfare and fair distribution of growth benefits, and even adopting a softer stance on Hindu nationalism”, state-run China Daily said, citing so-called analysts.

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Calling the election verdict “a surprising revival for the Opposition-led INDI alliance”, UK-based British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said the Lok Sabha mandate defied earlier predictions of the Congress Party's decline, in a sharp divergence from both: exit polls and pre-election surveys.

“The election results show that Brand Modi has lost some of its shine, indicating that even he is susceptible to anti-incumbency”, the UK-based publisher reported, in its own covert attempt at agenda-setting.

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He is not as invincible as many of his supporters believed, the BBC report further said, adding that it offers renewed hope to the Opposition as “the results will also energise the much-criticised Congress-led Opposition”.

After a decade of being at the helm, it [the election] was in many ways a referendum on PM Modi-led coalition's track record in office, Milan Vaishnav, Director of the South Asia Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was quoted as saying in Time magazine.

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"There are clearly many Indians who are feeling restless and uneasy”, the article further stated, adding that Modi now faces a more powerful Opposition than at any point over the past decade.

Asserting that the Opposition alliance "appeared to far outperform expectations,” a piece in UK-based newspaper The Guardian stated that election results were indicative of Modi not achieving the landslide victory many had predicted.

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While CBC News said the Congress Party was given 'a new lease on life' in the election, Vox Media, another US-based mass media company emphasised that India’s election shows the “world’s largest democracy is still a democracy”.

"If the basic test of whether a country remains a democracy is that the party in power can still suffer a setback at the ballot box, India passed on Tuesday," an article on Vox Media website read.

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"Modi will continue to be the dominant force in Indian politics (and a significant force in global politics) for years to come, but his rise looks less inevitable and invincible than it did just a few days ago, and the world's largest democracy's politics look just a bit more democratic," it added.

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Published June 5th, 2024 at 18:38 IST