India's Modi faces tough road ahead after election win

India's Modi faces tough road ahead after election win

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Celebrations began at Modi's BJP headquarters even before the full results were announced on Tuesday.

But there was an atmosphere of joy at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi too.

“The BJP has failed to secure a big majority on its own,” Congress MP Rajeev Shukla told reporters. “This is their moral defeat.”

Modi's opponents fight against the BJP's well-organised and well-financed campaign machinery, and say politically motivated criminal cases have been filed against them aimed at harassing challengers.

Many in India's Muslim minority feel uneasy about their future and their community's place in a constitutionally secular country.

Modi himself made several harsh remarks about Muslims during the election campaign, calling them “infiltrators”.

Polling stations were enormous in size and operational complexity, with 642 million voters exercising their franchise – from the major cities of New Delhi and Mumbai to sparsely populated forest areas and the high Himalayan regions.

Based on the commission's data of 968 million voters, voter turnout was 66.3 per cent, about one percentage point lower than the 67.4 per cent of the previous elections in 2019.

Analysts attributed the low turnout in part to the ongoing intense heat in northern India, where temperatures exceeded 45 °C (113 °F).

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