Incumbent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for his third term on Sunday after his party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won 240 seats in India’s lower parliamentary house.

On Tuesday evening, the results of the world’s largest democratic election revealed that the BJP had lost 63 seats, while its rival, the Indian National Congress, gained 47 seats to now have 99. While the BJP lost their majority in the Lok Sabha, India’s equivalent of the House of Representatives, their plurality led to the third nomination of Narendra Modi.

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During the ceremony, Modi promised to govern with “true faith and allegiance to the constitution,” according to a BBC report. Modi has become the second Prime Minister in the democratic history of India to serve three terms, the first being Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the country’s first Prime Minister serving from 1947-1964. Modi and his party, a Hindu Nationalist party, were accused of hateful comments and attacks against the Muslim population of India and jailing opposition figures.

Under Modi, India has seen great economic progress with major reforms to their tax structure and financial infrastructure. From 2014 to 2023, India’s GDP per capita increased a staggering 47 percent from $1,500 to $2,200. India’s “Smart Cities Mission” and highway construction initiatives also helped fuel this economic growth.

Modi’s tenure has not been without criticism both from within the country and internationally. During his tenure, India slid to 161st place from 140th in the World Press Freedom Index ranking. Critics have noted erosions of both civil liberties and the press, as well as concentrations of power in the executive branch, which according to some interpretations now constitutes an electoral autocracy.

Following the NATO/US economic sanctions against Russia, India began buying significant amounts of Russian oil, thereby undermining the goal of the sanctions. While India is a member of the BRICS partnership with Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa, they maintain a strong diplomatic relationship with the US as well. The US and India have a strong defense relationship, which include joint military exercises and equipment agreements. The US is India’s largest trade partner, despite being closer in proximity to China.

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