Shredded Majority: India Votes for Balance

by Dr. Asma Shakir Khawaja

On 4th June the election results were declared in India. Among 900 million eligible voters approximately 640 million Indian voters (half of them are women) cast their votes for 543 seats of Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha). The six weeks long (44 days) electoral process culminated with a 67% turnout, 1.1 million polling booths and 5.5 million electronic voting machines made this election process “world’s largest electoral exercise.”

In a surprise, the results were contrary to the exit polls as well as predictions and assessments of Indian media which incessantly attempted to create the impression that Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) will easily fetch two third majority. BJP’s own confidence also appears to be dwindling as their earlier electoral campaigns claimed that the party will secure more than 400 seats (Ab ki bar 400 paar) in the national parliament (Lok Sabha) thereby getting a two-third majority.

As opposed to such anticipations, unexpectedly, BJP has secured 240 seats, with its allies, however, the number stands around 283 seats in Lok Sabha, only ten seats more than required for simple majority (272 seats). It is important to note down that BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 353 seats in 2019 and 296 seats in 2024, indicating a considerable political decline. BJP alone won 303 seats in the elections of 2019. Moreover, in 2019, Indian opposition parties won 91 seats and in 2024 they have won 226 seats reflecting upon people’s displeasure of the politics of BJP. While describing this scenario “Economic Times,” rightly wrote, “400 paar blown out by hot winds, BJP facing a rude shock.” UK based newspaper, “The Telegraph,” reported “India Cuts Modi Down.”

BJP is ruling Utter Pradesh (UP) since 2017. With a population of 240 million people, it is the most populous state of India. In 2019, BJP alone won 62 seats from this state while Congress was able to grab only one (1) seat. Regional political parties such as The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) respectively won 10 and 05 seats from this state. The election results of 2024 are shocking not only for BJP but for the opposition alliance as well. The opposition alliance INDIA won 43 seats this time including 37 seats by SP and six by Congress. In 2024 BJP led alliance has downsized to 36 seats in UP including 33 of BJP.

Adding to the shock, BJP has faced most embarrassing defeat  in Faizabad, Ayodhya where Ram temple was inaugurated by Modi in January 2024. Ram temple was the highlight of the Hindu Rashtra card, “excessively” played by BJP to attract Hindu radical vote bank.

West Bengal, traditionally a communist state, also marked a significant blow to BJP’s electoral victory where All India Trinamool Congress (ITC) with a gain of 7 seats won 29 seats. Congress won one seat and BJP won 12 seats, with a loss of 6 seats compared to the seats it won in 2019.

Similarly, the trend  does not seem to be much different in other states. As in Mahashtra, BJP was able to won only nine seats from this state in the India’s heartland, which Al Jazeera termed as “politics of Humiliation”.

Some of the politicians that were considered as the pillars of BJP are also unable to reach constituent assembly this time. Their absence in Lok Sabha is going to be felt intensely.  This includes Smriti Irani, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Ajay Kumar Mishra, Arjun Munda, R K Singh, Nishit Pramanik, Bhagwant Kuba, Mahendranath Pandey, Debashree Chaudhary, eight-time MP Maneka Gandhi and several others. There are twenty six Muslims who reached the Parliament despite BJP’s Islamophobia based election campaign.

In Punjab, Manipur, Tamil Nado and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, BJP and its proxies are unable to hold any ground and public strongly rejected its violent & aggressive policies. In Punjab, Sarabjit Singh Khalsa, son of Beant Singh, one of the assassins of Indira Gandhi, have won the Lok Sabha seat from Fraidkot with a lead of 70 thousand votes. Sikh Leader Amritpal Singh, who is put behind the bars by BJP government for asking for the rights of Sikh minority, has won Lok Sabha seat from Khadoor Sahib with a margin of two hundred thousand votes.

Currently he is in DeebruGarh jail in Asaam, from where he contested general elections.

Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir spoke up after five years of revocation of article 370 and rejected all BJP supported proxies and ideology in Kashmir valley however; in Hindu majority Jammu region, BJP was able to gain two seats. Jailed for five years, Engineer Abdul Rashid Sheikh, emerged invincible after defeating big names such as Omer Abdullah and Sajad Ghani Lone. Engg. Rashid has been in Tihar Jail for five years facing terror funding charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). He leads the Awami Ittehad Party, but he chose to contest as an independent candidate. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was defeated with a huge margin of 2.80 lakh votes on Anantnag-Rajouri LS seat by National Conference’s Mian Altaf Ahmed.

The Indian stock market also responded to the shock waves generated by the election results and was down by 4000 points. The newspaper “Business Standard” called it “Terrible Tuesday,” when investors suffer INR 31 trillion shock and benchmarks slip 6% in one single day.

Domestic Influence of Elections


  1. It is apparent that unlike the assumptions, BJP is forming a coalition government. With strong regional parties and leadership, the coalition parties may not let BJP to play at the cost of coalition’s reputation and election promises. Not only will this but also after a long time BJP face strong and vocal opposition.
  2. Opposition alliance INDIA will aim at becoming people’s voice and stay connected with people at grass root level. They will use this tenure to enhance and deepen their public support by marketing well their secular card to build inclusive society with socio-economic development.
  3. BJP may step back from its policy to build “Hindu Rashtra,” as it is unable to become a political dividend in elections 2024.
  4. As Indian public rejected BJP’s policies of hatred, polarisation, radicalism, and isolation, therefore, there are chances that BJP may revise its Islamophobia based domestic policies.
  5. The election results have strengthened the regional parties and regionalism in India.
  6. Indian public’s unprecedented support for jailed leaders of minority groups, such as Kashmiris and Sikhs reflects upon Modi’s failure to fetch public support for his policies of Hindu supremacy while depriving minorities from their basic human rights. Public in Punjab, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nado, Manipur, Utter Pradesh and Lakshadweep, stood firm against the Hindutva rhetoric.
  7. Indian public has registered their dissatisfaction over poor economy, highest unemployment ratio, firm control of BJP on Media, Hindutva, pre-poll rigging, uneven playing field and constitutionalising discrimination.
  8. Rashid from Kashmir and AmritPal Singh from Punjab are jailed by Modi regime for their support for independent homeland for their respective ethnic groups. Their vote bank is a sign of public’s approval of their causes and their presence in Indian parliament would create a perception of empowerment for such all dissent voices.
  9. After failure of G-20 summit, construction of Ram Temple, projecting India as Bharat, displaying the map of Akhand Bharat in Indian parliament, Cow vigilantism, Hindu supremacy in attracting vote bank, BJP has to focus on performance as a governing body in a heterogeneous federation, which is home to various civilisations and religions. By empowering one religious group, BJP cannot sustain political supremacy especially while ignoring economic development and equality.

  Impact of elections on Indian Foreign & Defence Policy

  1. A weak government in centre may not allow BJP to focus much on extra-territorial killings to follow agenda of “Net In-Security Provider.”
  2. Modi’s invitation to Sri Lankan president to attend oath-taking ceremony is a relief for regional countries, who were suffering aggressive postures by the largest regional state. This manifest a change of policy as well. Indian public did not respond well to BJP’s foreign and economic policies.
  3. The policy of Indian military modernisation was unable to impress the domestic vote bank.
  4. Another issue of concern is that if Modi was unable to win elections without coercive false flag operations against Pakistan while violating her sovereignty then in order to regain massive public support, Modi might increase his reliance on such illegitimate activities.

Way Forward

Time is ripe to make BJP realize that war jingoism, aggressive postures, violation of international law, false sense of superiority and religious nationalism could not bring landslide victory for Modi. Therefore, it  gives an opportunity to give peace a chance. Conflict resolution, peacebuilding, negotiations, respecting bilateral agreements, inclusive regional policies, diplomatic language and attitude are the mediums to achieve economic stability to create an inclusive society, which is fundamental for a federation.

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