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6/4/2024 India (International Christian Concern) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, are set to form India’s next government following today’s counting of votes. Still, there has been a dramatic swing of fortunes. 

Meanwhile, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) — the opposition front led by the Congress Party, has performed better than in the previous two elections by securing more than 230 seats with the help of its allies. 

In a massive shift in the political landscape, as counting began for the 543 Lok Sabha seats after a mammoth seven weeks of polling, the BJP found itself losing the national domination that it had held for the past decade. 

However, an alliance known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will likely have helped Modi become the prime minister for the third consecutive time. To form a government, a party must win a 272-seat majority in the Lower House of Parliament. The NDA has won a 290-seat majority. 

Most of the country’s minorities wanted the Congress Party to win the elections. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party are the preferable choice of most minorities due to their moderate stand as opposed to Modi and the hardline BJP. 

Christians have been praying and hoping for a change in the government so they could get a breather from a decade of unabated attacks on churches and believers abetted by the Hindutva agenda unleashed by Modi’s government after it first came to power in 2014. 

Even in the 2024 elections, the BJP banked heavily on the Hindu card to garner votes.  

Edwin Anand, bishop of a well-known episcopal church based in the state of Chhattisgarh, where the BJP holds considerable power, said the number of atrocities against Christians has no doubt increased under Modi’s two successive governments. And Christians should brace for further persecution during Modi’s third term. 

According to Anand’s review of the election results, Modi’s BJP did not secure the 400 seats required to make constitutional amendments suitable to its Hindutva agenda and its efforts to remove the words “democratic, secular” from the constitution. 

“What is pertinent to note is that even if there is no change in the letter of the constitution,” Anand said, “still the BJP or whoever forms the government can kill the spirit of the constitution by circumventing the rules and regulations and allow the repression and suppression of the minorities.” 

Only time will tell. 

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