May 19

Past Event

The Results of India’s 2014 General Election

Event Materials



  • India Election Historic for Many Reasons

    Tanvi Madan: Over five weeks, 550 million Indians—66 percent of the electorate—turned out to vote and the result was historic. The BJP party will form the first non-Congress Party, non-coalition government in India's history.

    Tanvi Madan

  • India Election Result Literally Redraws the Map

    Milan Vaishnav, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Exit polls predicted that the BJP-led alliance would do well, but going from 159 to 335 seats in the parliament is just a mind-boggling figure; and the Congress Party-led alliance going down to 60 seats is a devastating blow.

  • This Was India's First "Presidential Election"

    Sadanand Dhume, American Enterprise Institute: BJP succeeded in making the election a referendum not just on the mis-governance of Manmohan Singh, but on Narendra Modi. There is no going back to the old way of elections.

  • Four Potential Constraints on BJP Government in India

    Richard Rossow, Centre for Strategic & International Studies: Of many constraints facing a BJP government is the fact that the Rajya Sabha, or upper house, can block legislation that comes out of the BJP-controlled lower house if they don't approve of it.

  • Modi Emphasizes that Foreign Policy Begins at Home

    Dhruva Jaishankar, German Marshall Fund: Going back to Narendra Modi's speeches and interviews gives some revealing insights into his world view. Modi emphasizes that foreign policy begins at home, yet he acknowledges in some ways the realities of globalization.


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On May 16, after a five-week-long election, the Indian election results were declared. The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, won a majority on its own. It will thus form the first non-Congress-party non-coalition government in Indian history. This election result will help determine the direction that the world’s largest democracy will take over the next five years. Given India’s sheer size, its growing regional and global role and its increasing interaction and integration with the global economy, the impact of the elections is likely to be felt well beyond India’s borders.

On May 19, The India Project at Brookings hosted a discussion reviewing the outcome of the national elections. Panelists broke down the results, reviewing the seat and vote shares and analyzing the message that voters have sent to India’s political parties. They also assessed what a new government headed by Mr. Modi might look like, what mandate it has received and its likely policy priorities, as well as the potential impact of the election results on Indian economic and foreign policy, including U.S.-India relations.

Panelists included Sadanand Dhume, resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute; Dhruva Jaishankar, Transatlantic Fellow for Asia Studies at the German Marshall Fund of the United States; Richard Rossow, the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Milan Vaishnav, an associate in the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Tanvi Madan, fellow in foreign policy and director of the India Project at Brookings, will moderate the discussion.

Twitter Join the conversation on Twitter using #IndiaElections

Event Agenda

  • Featured Speakers

    • Moderator

      Tanvi Madan
    • Sadanand Dhume

      Resident Fellow

      American Enterprise Institute

    • Richard Rossow

      Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies

      Centre for Strategic & International Studies

    • Milan Vaishnav

      Associate, South Asia Program

      Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    • Dhruva Jaishankar

      Transatlantic Fellow, Asia Program

      German Marshall Fund of the United States


May 19, 2014

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EDT

Brookings Institution

Saul/Zilkha Rooms

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


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