Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister of India on Friday as his Bharatiya Janata Party party won a majority of the 534 seats in parliament. It was the world’s largest exercise in electoral democracy, with 814 million eligible voters and a record 66.38% voter turnout.
"India has won, good days are about to come," Modi tweeted post-victory.
As the next prime minister of the world’s largest democracy, Modi plans to revitalize the economy by adopting pro-business policies and easing restrictions on manufacturing to attract more foreign investment.
The Congress Party, which freed India from British colonialism in 1947 and stood at the forefront of Indian politics for decades, suffered a massive defeat and is expected to win only 44 seats. Modi’s victory is considered to mark widespread discontent with the Congress party’s focus on welfare as a means of improving living standards. As Nharika Mandhana wrote for the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Modi tapped into the frustrations of a generation of Indians who climbed out of poverty in the past decade, but who have been prevented—by slowing growth and a lack of employment—from joining the middle classes.”
Having already received invitations to London and Washington by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barak Obama, respectively, Modi and his platform of growth and development are highly attractive to western nations. The BJP’s win represents the strength of democracy and the vast economic potential of India, as well as the conscious decision of a nation to choose hard work and dedication as a path to upward social mobility.
"I will develop this country,” Modi said in his victory speech in his home state of Gujarat on Friday. “I will take it to new heights."