Modi’s Third Term Begins Today: The Challenges And The Questions

The transition from "Modi Sarkar" to "NDA Sarkar" marks unfamiliar territory for Modi who has been the party's face for the last decade

Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Photo: PTI

As BJP supremo Narendra Modi takes the oath as India’s Prime Minister for the third time, he’s be doing so in circumstances starkly differently to what he would have anticipated. With the BJP falling short of even the majority mark, the ‘400 paar’ vision remains a distant dream for the saffron party. 

The transition from "Modi Sarkar" to "NDA Sarkar" marks unfamiliar territory for Modi who has been the party's face for the last decade. His ascension to the throne now comes with the crucial support of allies Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar. These allies, who achieved significant victories in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar respectively, have emerged as the kingmakers in this election.

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Their pivotal role in forming the government has given them significant leverage, with both leaders demanding key portfolios in Parliament. It is believed that Naidu has requested the Speaker of the House position along with major cabinet roles, while JDU's Nitish Kumar has also sought cabinet portfolios and Minister of State positions.

After a loaded election season that saw Modi making charged speeches about Muslims, Mangalsutra, and Mujra, a shift was observed at the NDA meeting on Friday, where he spoke of development and good governance for the country. In a stark contrast to the narrative popularised by the opposition about the BJP looking to change the Constitution, Modi was also seen bowing down to it

While the Opposition INDIA bloc, which fell about 40 seats short of the majority mark, has decided to remain in opposition and wait for the "appropriate time," several leaders have expressed doubts about the longevity of the NDA government. Senior politicians have also criticised Modi's selection as the PM candidate for the third time, citing what they refer to as his moral defeat.

While AAP leader Sanjay Singh questions the stability of the NDA government, suggesting it could fall within 13 days, six months, or a year, Assam Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi doubts that PM Narendra Modi will retain his position for a full five-year term.

Meanwhile the Congress Working Committee (CWC) has unanimously suggested Rahul Gandhi’s name as the Leader of Opposition.