Top of the Morning

Coalition politics is back as Modi looks at a third straight term

Episode Summary

Markets wilt as BJP loses majority; What industries want from new government

Episode Notes

Welcome to Top of the Morning by Mint, your weekday newscast that brings you five major stories from the world of business. It's Wednesday, June 5, 2024. My name is Nelson John. Let's get started:


The people have spoken. Results of the 2024 General Election are here, and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is set to form the government at the Centre. This time, however, no single party got an absolute majority. Far from the centre’s seat of power in Delhi, Dalal Street in Mumbai saw a milestone day. The last two days have been a rollercoaster ride for the Indian markets. The markets, which were soaring a day before results - on the back of a strong comeback predicted for the BJP by pollsters - saw a day of bloodbath on Tuesday. Investors lost more than ₹31 trillion on Tuesday as benchmark indices plunged. Both Nifty and Sensex saw a fall of close to 6 per cent - the biggest since the first pandemic-induced lockdown was announced on March 23 2020. Mint’s markets correspondent Ram Sahgal reports on the biggest market crash in four years. 

Coalition politics is back. A decade after the BJP won a majority on its own for the first time, NDA - the coalition led by it, is seeing a comeback to power. Narendra Modi is set to become the Prime Minister for a third straight term. While the NDA’s tally of about 290 is nowhere close to the government’s call for “400 paar”, the coalition made a dent in key southern states. The BJP finally breached Kerala, winning one seat in the state. In Tamil Nadu, the BJP failed to open its account but saw its vote share rise to 11% from earlier 3.7%. The opposition INDIA bloc is likely to secure 234 seats led by the Indian National Congress, which has nearly doubled its strength in Parliament to 99 seats. The crown jewel of the BJP’s electoral victories in the past - Uttar Pradesh - favoured the opposition alliance over the BJP. The Congress and the Samajwadi Party-led INDIA bloc outnumbered the NDA by 43 to 33. Modi’s BJP also broke into new territories in the east - notably Odisha, where it not only swept the Lok Sabha election but also closed in on a majority in the state assembly. The results also imply that Modi will now have to rely on his allies - mainly TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu and JDU’s Nitish Kumar - for a stable government at the centre. Mint’s Sayantan Bera and N Madhavan report on the results of the world’s largest election. 

N Madhavan also explains the verdict of 2024 in today’s Mint Primer. From a setback for the BJP in the heartland states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, to the return of regional parties, the 2024 verdict was full of surprises. Despite holding 206 public meetings and rallies over the course of the last 45 days, it became evident that Modi’s magic too has its limits. The Lok Sabha will also boast of a stronger Opposition - something that was missing for a decade. Another insight from the verdict is how inaccurate exit polls can be. Most of the pollsters missed the mark massively this election.

As the BJP-led NDA appears set to continue its tenure with a reduced majority, industries across India are looking forward to policy stability and the extension of current incentives. The technology sector is particularly focused on advancing India's semiconductor capabilities, enhancing AI regulation, and implementing crucial digital laws such as the Digital Personal Data Protection Act and the upcoming Digital India Bill. Meanwhile, the telecom sector anticipates the enactment of new rules under the forthcoming telecom bill, along with potential tariff revisions. The aviation industry hopes for the establishment of global aviation hubs, and a reduction in jet fuel taxes to improve operational economics. There's also a significant focus on incentives for electric vehicles and regulations affecting fuel economy and emissions, which are crucial for the road transport sector. Gulveen Aulakh takes a look at the expectations of major industrial sectors from the upcoming government at the centre.


Yesterday's results had one outstanding result: that the BJP would not be able to form a government on its own. We invited Surjit Bhalla, economist and author, to opine on this historic result. Bhalla writes that no exit poll got this election right — especially the rise of the INDIA coalition. UP, West Bengal, and Maharashtra stood out for the new age coalition group. Bhalla also writes that the lower turnout could have hampered the NDA's chances at a greater majority. Lastly, he writes that this election is a victory for many stakeholders, but none bigger than the one for the average Indian voter, who has made their voice resonant.



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Show notes:


Slender win for NDA queers pitch for street, investors lose ₹31 trillion

INDIA heat wilts lotus, coalition saves the day

Mint Primer: The 2024 verdict in three minutes

Mint Explainer: What major industries expect from the next government

Failure has many mothers: The Indian voter gets it right again