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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora