News / Asia

    In India, BJP's Narendra Modi to be Sworn in as PM

    India's next Prime Minister and Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi displays the letter from the President inviting him to form the new government, outside the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, May 20, 2014.
    India's next Prime Minister and Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi displays the letter from the President inviting him to form the new government, outside the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, May 20, 2014.
    Anjana Pasricha
    Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi will be sworn in as India’s next prime minister on May 26. He was called Tuesday to form the next government following his party's landslide victory in national elections. And despite a devastating defeat in the poll, the Congress party has thrown its weight behind the leadership of the Gandhi political dynasty. 

    The invitation from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Narendra Modi to form the next government came just days after the BJP swept India's parliamentary elections.

    Tuesday’s meeting in the Indian capital was an emotional moment for Modi, who has risen from a humble background to the highest office in India.

    The 63-year-old bowed and kissed the steps of parliament as he entered. He fought back tears as he thanked his party and told lawmakers that the common man has renewed faith and self-confidence in democracy.    

    He said the clear majority won by the party showed that it was a verdict filled with hope, faith and trust. Modi expressed optimism that the nation was set to march ahead.   

    Urging party members to dedicate themselves to the nation, he called it an era of responsibility.

    Modi pledged to work to uplift the welfare of poor people, youth and women in the country.     

    He will be sworn into office next Monday, along with members of his Cabinet.   

    The BJP’s first meeting in parliament after elections was a proud moment for the party which has never won a parliamentary majority, but whose lawmakers now occupy more than half the seats in the powerful lower house.

    Party president Rajnath Singh pointed to the achievement.  

    Singh said for the first time in India, it would be BJP versus all the others.

    The BJP has a strong majority unlike coalition governments that have ruled India for the last 25 years. But there are concerns the next government will face no significant opposition in the lower house of parliament after the Congress party’s devastating defeat.

    The Congress party, which ruled for the last 10 years, won only 44 seats - less than the 10 percent needed to qualify as the principal opposition in parliament. Even the most pessimistic projections had not forecast such a rout.  
     
    India’s outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, center, and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi, attend a meeting of the Congress Working Committee to review the party’s defeat in the general election in New Delhi, May 19, 2014.India’s outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, center, and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi, attend a meeting of the Congress Working Committee to review the party’s defeat in the general election in New Delhi, May 19, 2014.
    x
    India’s outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, center, and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi, attend a meeting of the Congress Working Committee to review the party’s defeat in the general election in New Delhi, May 19, 2014.
    India’s outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, center, and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi, attend a meeting of the Congress Working Committee to review the party’s defeat in the general election in New Delhi, May 19, 2014.
    Despite the devastating loss, Congress leaders on Monday turned down resignation offers from the party's top leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul.  They called the loss a “collective responsibility” and asked Sonia Gandhi to revamp the party.

    In recent days, political observers have raised questions about the ability of Rahul Gandhi, who led Congress’s election campaign, to revive the party. Gandhi is the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, which has given India three prime ministers. He has been called a reluctant politician who could neither measure up to his opponent nor connect to voters.

    But political observers say the Congress party’s decision to stick to the leadership of the Gandhis is not surprising in a party that has never allowed other leaders to emerge.

    Independent political commentator Ajoy Bose in New Delhi sees troubled times for ahead for a party which has dominated India’s political landscape since independence.

    “I think the Congress stands in danger of falling off the political map in India, it’s a far deeper existential crisis than just a defeat. The Congress organization has been dying in many, many areas for now quite a long time, and today having fallen below 50, it could get completely irrelevant,” said Bose.

    The Congress party was not the only one decimated. An anti-corruption party, which had made a spectacular debut in Delhi in December failed to make a mark in the national elections, picking up only four seats in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Its leader Arvind Kejriwal admitted that the party needs to build its organization.

    For the time being, the fractured opposition gives the BJP and its leader Modi a free hand to govern the country and deliver on promises of economic revival and development.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Krish
    May 20, 2014 10:42 AM
    Its time for western media to call the prime minister of India as Hindu Nationalist.India being secular country no place for any religion and when it comes to belief in religion each individual got freedom to preach religion of his will.So no point in calling Narendra Modi as Hindu Nationalist and its up to him to follow his religion.

    I don't think he never tried impose religion on any one through state and though he is affiliated to RSS it doesn't mean he is a Hindu Nationalist better call him as Nationalist.I am not from RSS nor Gujraat but being Indian to read Prime Minister of country as Hindu Nationalist lets me down.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora