Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scored a dramatic election victory on Thursday, putting his Hindu nationalist party on course to increase its majority on a mandate of business-friendly policies and a tough stand on national security.
His re-election reinforces a global trend of right-wing populists sweeping to victory, from the United States to Brazil and Italy, often after adopting harsh positions on protectionism, immigration and defense.
Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party ahead in 302 of the 542 seats up for grabs, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament.
That would give his party the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984. Votes will be fully counted by Friday morning.
Modi was showered with rose petals by some of the thousands of cheering supporters who waited for hours in a thunderstorm for his arrival at party headquarters on Thursday evening.
With the BJP set for a landslide victory in the national elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today thanked the nation in a tweet and praised party workers for their “determination, perseverance and hard work”.
The PM said that “together we will build a strong and inclusive India”.
In another tweet, the PM said the country will grow and prosper together. “India wins yet again,” he added.
Several international leaders also congratulated Narendra Modi
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the election results reaffirmed Modi’s leadership.
“Congratulations, my friend Narendra Modi, on your impressive election victory!” he tweeted. “The election results further reaffirm your leadership of the world’s largest democracy. Together we will continue to strengthen the great friendship between India & Israel. Well done, my friend!”
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Modi. In his letter, Xi said he is looking forward to work with Modi.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe also congratulated Modi over phone. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to Modi.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also congratulated Modi. “It is a strong affirmation of the Indian people’s confidence in the BJP/led government,” he tweeted. “I look forward to closer and enhanced ties of Maldives-India cooperation.”
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said his government was looking forward to expanding cooperation between the two democracies.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena congratulated Modi on people endorsing his leadership once again. “Sri Lanka looks forward to continuing the warm and constructive relationship with India in the future,” he tweeted.
Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli congratulated Modi for “landslide election victory” in the Lok Sabha polls. “I wish all success ahead,” he said. “I look forward to working closely with you.”