Heads of state are sending their best wishes amid a tussle between the BJP-led NDA and opposition INDIA bloc to form the next government India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes victory sign at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters to celebrate the party’s win in country’s general election, in New Delhi on June 4, 2024. © Money SHARMA / AFP

World leaders have offered their congratulations to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he looks set to return for a third consecutive term following the close election win of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance over a rival bloc.

Notably, India’s President Droupadi Murmu accepted Modi’s resignation on Wednesday and requested that he continue in his role until the new government is sworn in, according to her office.

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu said on X that he looks forward to “working together to advance our shared interests.” Ties between India and the Maldives had been frosty ever since Muizzu, who is seen as pivoting toward Beijing, took over. The ‘pro-China’ leader, as he is seen in New Delhi, recently ordered India to withdraw all troops, including military personnel who had been tasked with handling aviation platforms which had been donated to the nation.

Tshering Tobgay, the Prime Minister of neighboring Bhutan, also congratulated Modi and said he looked forward to working with him to further boost bilateral relations. The two leaders had met earlier this year in Thimphu, the capital of the Himalayan kingdom, and announced several energy projects encompassing hydropower, solar, and green hydrogen, with Indian entities serving as strategic partners.

The leaders of Nepal and Sri Lanka also congratulated Modi.

Among European leaders, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was quick to congratulate Modi in an X post, saying that both countries would continue to work together to “strengthen the friendship.” Modi responded, saying that his government was “committed to deepening India-Italy strategic partnership.”

A US State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday that it expects continued close ties with India, along with discussions on human rights concerns, Reuters reported.

The ruling BJP secured 240 of the Indian legislature’s 543 parliamentary seats. While it fell short of the 272 seats it needed for a majority, it has won 293 seats together with its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) bloc partners. The BJP must now depend on its allies in order to be able to form the next government.

Election outcome won’t alter India’s foreign policy – experts Election outcome won’t alter India’s foreign policy – experts

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Election outcome won’t alter India’s foreign policy – experts

Meanwhile, the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc surpassed expectations, clinching over 200 seats. The results sharply contrasted with exit polls, published moments after the seventh and final phase of voting wrapped up on June 1. The exit polls predicted a landslide victory for the Modi-led alliance.

However, both the NDA and INDIA blocs are holding meetings on Wednesday to strategize for forming the next government. According to NDTV news channel, the INDIA bloc has reached out to at least NDA – The Telugu Desam Party of Andhra Pradesh state, led by Chandrababu Naidu, and the Janata Dal (United) party in Bihar, led by Nitish Kumar, to seek their support in forming the government.

Rahul Gandhi of the Congress Party, which is spearheading the INDIA alliance, claimed that the results showed that the people had rejected Modi and his policies. Mamata Banerjee, the leader of the Trinamool Congress, another key constituent of INDIA, has called for Modi’s “immediate resignation” as he had “lost credibility.”

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