World’s Biggest Election Throws a Massive Surprise

(Bloomberg) -- Each day, Bloomberg journalists take you across a selection of towns and cities as they gear up for the big vote.

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We’re firmly in New Delhi today, where India’s voters have once again thrown up an election surprise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party — which was widely expected to come roaring back to power — is poised to fall short of a parliamentary majority. That means Modi is at the mercy of fickle alliance partners if he wants a historic third term as premier. The main opposition Congress party has just met the press and said it will meet its alliance partners on Wednesday to strategize, including on whether to bid to form the new government. Modi himself is due to speak to BJP workers later Tuesday and might address the media. Stay tuned.

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India’s election result is a stunning blow to a leader who has dominated Indian politics since he first took power a decade ago. The NSE Nifty 50 Index tumbled 5.9%, its worst day in more than four years, as it became clear the election outcome would be much closer than expected.

  • Modi Poised to Lose India Majority, Needs Allies to Keep Power

  • Indian Stocks Lose $386 Billion as Polls Tighter Than Forecast

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The Congress party said it will talk to potential partners after discussing with its allies. The party’s chief Mallikarjun Kharge said no political party has won a clear majority in India’s elections and described the results as a mandate against Modi.

Who Votes This Week?

India’s mammoth election runs through June 1, with counting scheduled for June 4. This map from the Election Commission of India shows which constituencies vote when.

How Did We Get Here?

Listen to The Big Take Asia podcast to learn how Modi built up so much power over the last several decades – and why he is both a beloved and divisive figure.

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Indians are voting in the world’s biggest election. Understand how money and business intersect with politics and power by following Bloomberg India’s channel on WhatsApp, and sign up for the weekly India Edition newsletter by Menaka Doshi.

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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