India’s opposition leader, Narendra Modi, will become the next prime minister of the world’s largest democracy, winning the most-decisive election victory the country has seen in three decades and sweeping the long-dominant Congress party from power.
Modi, a career politician whose campaign promised a revival of economic growth, will have a strong mandate to govern at a time of profound changes in Indian society. He also has said he wants to strengthen India’s strategic partnership with the United States. But critics worry the ascendancy of his Hindu nationalist party could worsen sectarian tensions with India’s minority 138 million Muslims.
The results were a crushing defeat for the Congress party, which is deeply entwined with the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty that has been at the center of Indian politics for most of the country’s post-independence history.