Policy Backgrounders
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Policy Backgrounders

CED’s Policy Backgrounders provide timely insights on prominent business and economic policy issues facing the nation.

India's Election

May 03, 2024

Trusted Insights for What’s Ahead™

India’s national election every five years is one of the most massive projects humanity undertakes. From the Himalayas (one voting station is over 15,000 feet above sea level) to remote islands in the Indian Ocean, this year nearly 970,000,000 of India’s 1.4 billion citizens are eligible to vote in elections for the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, at over 1,000,000 polling stations over six weeks. When results are announced in June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who leads the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is expected to win a third term easily and keep his majority in the Lok Sabha.

  • 543 seats are up for election; the BJP set a goal of 400, difficult but not impossible to achieve.
  • The BJP has in recent weeks shifted its campaign theme from economic accomplishments to a focus on Hindu nationalist themes to rally its base.
  • The opposition Congress-led alliance remains somewhat disunited; its formal leader is not a candidate for Prime Minister, while Congress’ former leader Rahul Gandhi attempts to achieve a strong showing to continue his future in politics. However, in most seats the opposition alliance will be able to have a one-on-one race with the BJP.
  • A major question is the role of regional parties, which traditionally do well in a number of states and may wish to align themselves in some areas with the BJP after the election. It will likely be difficult, however, for the BJP to make major inroads in southern India.

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