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India's Modi sworn in for a third term as prime minister

NARENDRA MODI was sworn in for a third term as India’s prime minister today.

President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath at India’s presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

Mr Modi’s third term as the country’s leader has only ever been matched by the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

But it comes after the far-right Hindu nationalist and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost 63 seats in the marathon general election which began on April 14 and ended last week.

The 240 seats won by the BJP is a far cry from the 303 it won in the 2019 election and way behind the 370 seats Mr Modi claimed his party would secure.

Instead Mr Modi is having to rely on support from a 15-member coalition, called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which gave him enough votes in the 543 seat parliament in the country’s capital in Delhi.

On Friday, the leaders of the NDA parties unanimously backed Mr Modi to be elected as prime minister by the parliament.

During the coalition meeting Mr Modi said that the NDA “has completed around three decades as an alliance,” saying that “this was no ordinary thing.”

He said that the coalition would make every effort to govern the country well and to take the nation forward.

But analysts predict that the coalition will shift parliamentary politics and force the authoritarian Mr Modi into a more collaborative approach.

Sajjan Kumar, head of the New Delhi-based political research group PRACCIS, said: “In the past, the BJP has had confidence because of its sheer majority.

“The coalition will now force the BJP to engage in more consultation.”

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, the head of the Congress Party, is expected to be officially recognised as India’s leader of the opposition. 

The position has been vacant for a decade because Congress — once India’s dominant party — fell short of the necessary threshold.

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