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India: Modi sworn in as prime minister for third term

Published June 9, 2024last updated June 9, 2024

Narendra Modi has taken the oath of office, ushering in his third term as the prime minister of India. All eyes are on which coalition leaders will make it into his cabinet.

Modi speaking at inauguration
Neighboring rival countries China and Pakistan did not sent leaders to be part of PM Modi's oath-taking ceremonyImage: Manish Swarup/AP/picture alliance

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for a third consecutive term on Sunday after the country's election results unexpectedly left him reliant on coalition partners to form a government.

All eyes are on the prime minister's choice of ministers, which he has not yet revealed.

The capital was under tight security measures as regional leaders from across the nation flew in to attend the ceremony. Several opposition leaders, however, decided to boycott the event.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, along with leaders including those of Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives, were due to attend the ceremony.

Notably, leaders of rival neighbors China and Pakistan were absent.

Modi vowed to "bear true allegiance to the constitution of India" during his inauguration speech.

The leader has said he has been "very busy" over the past days as he was in the "midst of preparations of government formation."

Students of Gurukul School of Art draw portraits of Narendra Modi and other political leaders ahead of Narendra Modi's 3.0 oath-taking ceremony
Modi's BJP has lost its majority in parliament but will form government alongside National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition partnersImage: Bhushan Koyande/Hindustan Times/Sipa USA/picture alliance

How did Modi's party fare?

73-year-old Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been in outright power for the last decade. Despite analysts' expectations of another landslide win and a possible super majority, the party failed to repeat its success in previous elections.

Out of 543 seats in India's lower house, a party or group of parties requires at least 272 seats to form a government.

To be sure of this, the BJP had already entered into an alliance called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with regional parties before the elections. Modi held brisk talks with his coalition partners after the results on June 4 to confirm their support to form a government.

However, the BJP's failure to attain 272 seats makes it vulnerable to negotiations within the alliance. In Indian politics, larger coalition parties have been known to demand integral ministerial portfolios in exchange for their support. 

India: Modi wins third term despite heavy losses

mk/rc (AFP, AP)