Modi Secures Coalition Support, Handing Him Third Term in Power

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won crucial backing from two key allies in his coalition, allowing him to form a government and extend his decade in power.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was forced into coalition talks following the BJP’s loss of its majority in parliamentary elections.

Leaders of the National Democratic Alliance met Wednesday in New Delhi to thrash out an agreement and give its backing to the coalition.

Mr Modi was unanimously chosen as the leader of the alliance this afternoon.

Earlier today NDA leaders met at Mr Modi’s residence to review the election result and discuss government formation, after which a delegation of senior figures from the BJP and its NDA partners was supposed to meet President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan to stake claim to power.

That delegation was to include Telugu Desam Party boss Chandrababu Naidu and Janata Dal leader Nitish Kumar, whose combined 28 seats are needed to ensure the BJP’s coalition stays above water.

Mr Naidu’s TDP won 16 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh (and a simultaneous Assembly election to return as Chief Minister) and Nitish Kumar’s JDU picked up 12 seats in Bihar.

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There has been speculation Mr Naidu and Nitish Kumar could be approached by the opposition INDIA bloc, which finished with 232 seats (40 shy of majority) and is exploring a government formation bid.

To offset that, the BJP has secured written letters of support from the TDP and JDU bosses.

Official results Tuesday showed the BJP-led coalition secured enough seats to form a government if it sticks together, although the party remained short of the 272-seat majority on its own.

Modi was confident he would stay in office, telling cheering supporters at his party’s headquarters on Tuesday night that the “NDA has won a mandate to form the government” for a third straight term.

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