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Modi’s BJP-led alliance set for narrower-than-expected win

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays his inked marked finger after casting his ballot at a polling booth at Ranip, Ahmedabad on May 7, 2024. 

Sajjad Hussain | Afp | Getty Images

Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is set to come to power in India again — albeit with a much reduced majority, according to the latest data from the Election Commission of India.

The NDA was ahead on nearly 290 parliamentary seats, while the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), led by the Indian National Congress, was leading on 230 seats, according to local media.

The BJP alliance won 353 seats in 2019. If the numbers hold, the BJP would lose about 60 seats compared with its 2019 General Election tally of 303. The lower house of India’s Parliament has 543 seats, and the party or coalition that wins at least 272 forms the government. 

“People are so eager in India to see Minister Modi take the reins once more. And I think the pressure is on him more than ever,” said Samir Kapadia, CEO of India Index and managing principal at Vogel Group. “He’ll continue to build India in a way that that Indians want to see.”

Modi reportedly said in March that he was confident that the NDA will secure over 400 seats.

“As much as Prime Minister Modi remains a popular figure, the shine has worn off as the everyday lived realities of unemployment, inflation and governance are dominating voters minds,” Yamini Aiyar, former president of the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

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According to an April survey conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, unemployment was the top concern for 27% of the 10,000 people surveyed. More than half (62%) of the respondents said it had become more difficult to find a job in the last five years during Modi’s second term.

The unemployment rate in the world’s most populous country rose to 8.1% in April compared to 7.4% in March, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.

“It remains to be seen whether Modi can attract the kind of labor intensive jobs that are needed by India,” said Atman Trivedi, partner and lead of South Asia practice at Albright Stonebridge Group.

India’s benchmark indexes Nifty 50 and the BSE Sensex on Tuesday plunged 8% as trends showed the BJP might fall short of a clear majority on its own.

Flexi Capital: Infrastructure and manufacturing push will be the narrative for India

Market heavyweights Adani Ports and Adani Enterprises had both plunged by more than 20%, while State Bank of India and ICICI Bank fell 17% and almost 9% respectively.

On Monday, both the Nifty and Sensex had hit record level highs and logged their best intraday gains since Feb. 1, 2021, gaining 3.25% and 3.39%, respectively, after exit polls over the weekend predicted a thumping majority for Modi’s BJP.

The Indian rupee weakened 0.31% on Tuesday after strengthening 0.41% on Monday.


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Modi’s BJP-led alliance set for narrower-than-expected win

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