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Election results: How have India’s past coalition governments fared?

PM Modi faces the test of ruling a coalition government. It won’t be easy, say analysts. But the past holds lessons.

Narendra Modi is likely to return as India’s prime minister for a third term but will have to rely on allies to run a coalition government for the first time after his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell short of a majority.

Modi led the BJP to landslide victories in the 2014 and 2019 elections, winning 283 and 303 respectively, becoming the dominant leader of the world’s largest democracy.

Analysts said the shock 2024 results, which saw BJP winning 240 seats – 32 short of a majority – would dent Modi’s aura and could force the 73-year-old leader to change his style of governance, which will now be partly dictated by coalition partners.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), comprising 14 parties, managed to grab 53 seats, giving the BJP-led coalition a total of 293 seats, 21 more than the required 272-seat majority.

This is not the first time the Hindu nationalist party will be heading a coalition government. In fact, the BJP’s first government, formed in 1996, was a coalition headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It lasted just for 13 days. Vajpayee returned as prime minister with the backing of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 1998.

Here is what coalition governments have looked like for India in the past:

India’s first coalition government was formed in 1977 after the Congress lost the elections. It was the party’s first loss since leading the country’s independence from the British in 1947.

The 1977 elections were held nearly two years after Congress leader and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had imposed a state of national emergency. Gandhi lifted the emergency and announced snap elections in