Modi Suffers Setback, say Global Media Outlets

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Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — As Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP fell short of a majority in the Lok Sabha elections for the first time since sweeping to power in 2014, it has stirred a wave of discussions and reactions in the international media.

The BJP managed to secure 240 seats in the election, 32 short of the halfway mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha, forcing the party to depend on its allies to form the government.

Setback to Modi and His Party: The Washington Post

The Washington Post called the results an “unexpected repudiation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.”

Calling it a “stunning setback to Modi and his party,” the Post stated that the results pierced the “aura of invincibility around the most dominant Indian politician in decades.”

“For the first time in years, Modi seemed vulnerable,” the Post highlighted.

‘Modi loses parliamentary majority in Indian election’: The Guardian

“… it was clear that the landslide for the BJP predicted in polls had not materialised and instead there had been a pushback against the strongman prime minister and his Hindu nationalist politics in swathes of the country,” The Guardian in its intro on the election report, describing how the results stood as an “unexpected blow” to Modi.

The British daily also noted that the BJP sensed a “sign of nervousness” during the election campaign and “turned to more polarising religious rhetoric.” It also pointed out the resilience and the success of the Opposition INDIA bloc, which grappled with frozen “party funds and jailed opposition leaders in the buildup to the polls.”

‘India’s Modi claims victory as he heads for reduced majority’: BBC

Underlining that Modi was headed for a reduced majority in the Lok Sabha elections this year, the BBC stated, “The election was seen by many as a referendum on Mr. Modi’s decade in office, during which he has transformed many aspects of life in India, so this would be a major upset.”

BBC reporters, moreover, described the mood in BJP offices around the country as “sombre.” The report also acknowledged the fight put up by the Opposition parties against the BJP. “The BJP and its rivals fought a fierce – at times vitriolic – campaign, with the prime minister denying that he was being divisive when he was accused by rivals of demonising Muslims,” it stated.

Modi Loses His Aura: The New York Times

The New York Times started its report by noting, “Suddenly, the aura of invincibility around Narendra Modi has been shattered.”

Terming the results as “unexpectedly sobering,” the NYT noted that they were a “sharp reversal a decade into Mr. Modi’s transformational tenure.”

“For Mr. Modi, a generous reading of the outcome could be that only with his personal push could his party overcome its unpopularity at the local level and scrape by. Or it could be that his carefully cultivated brand has now peaked, and that he can no longer outrun the anti-incumbency sentiment that eventually catches up with almost any politician,” reporters at the New York Times emphasised.

A setback for Modi?’: DW

Deutsche Welle quoted political scientist and senior fellow at the Center for Policy Research, Gilles Verniers, who claimed that the election was a “personal setback for the prime minister.”

“This is uncharted territory for the new BJP, who will be confronted with two choices: either convert to the art of political conciliation or press down further the path of autocracy. The future will tell us which way the PM will choose, a choice that will define India’s standing and trajectory,” DW quoted Verniers as saying.

‘Narendra Modi suffers surprise loss of majority in India election’: The Telegraph

The Telegraph referred to the election results as a “surprise loss of majority,” for PM Modi and said that they were alien to the Bharatiya Janata Party which had enjoyed a “virtual carte blanche” over governance of the country for the past decade.”

The report also noted that the atmosphere at BJP victory party was “considerably muted.” It also highlighted a report by Bloomberg, which called the victory celebrations “a marked departure from the 2019 election, when the margin of victory triggered instant celebration.”

With inputs from IE

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