Partial results indicated on Friday that Narendra Modi has won India’s elections for prime minister, with the most decisive victory the country has seen in over twenty-five years. The win displaces the long-dominant Congress party from power and has already been seen to have a positive effect on the nation’s stock market. Modi, who has repeatedly promised economic growth throughout his campaign, has so far won 280 of 545 parliament seats, making him the winner by a clear majority.
With over 814.5 million eligible voters—more than twice the entire US population—India’s election for prime minister has been called one of the biggest in history. It was also one of the most important on a global scale, as India is the second most-populous country and largest democracy in the world. Yet not everyone is convinced about Modi being the right choice.
Many blame him for standing back during the Gujarat Riots in 2002, which ultimately killed 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus. In fact, the US State Department denied Modi a visa to visit the US as a result of this conflict. With tensions between the nation’s Hindus and Muslims are already high, Modi being elected likely will not help.
In a victory speech on Friday, Modi addressed his critics, saying, “I have always said that to govern the nation it is our responsibility to take everyone with us. I want your blessings so that we can run a government that carries everyone with it.”