ELECTION: Modi’s Dominance Continues in India’s Contentious General Election – Results In!

New Delhi, India – India, with close to 970 million voters among its more than 1.4 billion people, is currently hosting one of the world’s largest elections, which could have significant consequences. The general election sees Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, facing off against a broad alliance of opposition parties aiming to challenge his stronghold on power.

At 73 years old, Modi first came to power in 2014 on the promise of economic development and presenting himself as an anti-corruption outsider. However, his time in office has been marked by a fusion of religion and politics, with support from the majority Hindu population. While India has emerged as a rising global power under Modi’s leadership, his rule has also seen increased unemployment, attacks on minorities – particularly Muslims, and a shrinking space for dissent and independent media.

The final day of voting in the six-week-long election took place on Saturday, with results expected on the same day. Voters were selecting 543 members for the lower house of Parliament for a five-year term, with voting conducted at over a million polling stations across the country. The election process was handled in seven voting phases, allowing for the government to transport officials and voting machines while deploying troops to prevent violence.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and his main challenger, Rahul Gandhi of the Indian National Congress, lead Parliament’s two largest factions. Opposition parties have come together under the banner of INDIA, or Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, in an effort to prevent Modi from securing a third consecutive term in office. Despite ideological differences and clashes, the alliance projects Modi to win a third term, especially after fulfilling a long-held Hindu nationalist pledge by opening a temple in Ayodhya earlier this year.

The election in India serves as a pivotal moment to test the country’s democratic values, which have faced erosion during Modi’s tenure. With accusations of running on a Hindu-first platform and weakening secular roots, the results will also indicate the country’s trajectory in terms of media freedom, judicial independence, and opposition power. Additionally, economic challenges such as generating enough jobs for the youth population remain a key issue for voters in the world’s fastest-growing economy.