Leading newspapers on Wednesday focussed on the Bharatiya Janata Party losing its majority in the Lok Sabha after the results of the 2024 general elections were announced.

According to the data released by the Election Commission, the BJP’s final seat tally in the Lower House has stood at 240, a significant fall from 2019 when it had clinched 303 seats. The overall tally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has reached 292.

In contrast, the Congress won 99 seats, significantly improving on its 2019 tally when it had managed to get only 52 seats. The Opposition INDIA bloc has collectively bagged 232 seats.

On Wednesday, newspapers reported how the BJP has not reached the majority mark and would have to rely on its allies to form the government at the Centre.

With the headline “Hat-tricky: NDA 272 paar, INDIA raises bar”, The Times of India mentioned that the BJP has suffered a setback due to an “unexpectedly strong Opposition”.

“The drop of 60-plus seats was caused by losses inflicted by Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party in the saffron stronghold of Uttar Pradesh, which had played a crucial role in Modi’s previous two victories; smart teamwork by Congress, Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra; and Mamata Banerjee’s successful defence of her bastion in Bengal,” it said.

With an infographic, it also showed six differences between the results of the 2019 general elections and 2024. It also carried stories about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statements after the results were announced.

Also read: Why the BJP took a hit in Uttar Pradesh

Front page of The Times of India.

The Hindu led with the headline “BJP falls short, needs allies to govern” and said that the National Democratic Alliance would be dependent on the support of N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United).

While the Telugu Desam Party emerged as the single-largest party in Andhra Pradesh, winning 16 out of the state’s 25 Lok Sabha seats, the Janata Dal (United) won 12 seats in Bihar.

The Hindu wrote: “The BJP faced setbacks in strongholds and ended up with lower tallies in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, while its southern foray yielded only marginal results.”

The newspaper also carried an illustration of Modi and Gandhi, showing the numbers the voters had given to both their parties.

Front page of The Hindu.

The leading headline of The Indian Express read: “India gives NDA a third term, Modi a message”. It said that the BJP had seen setbacks in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

The front page of the English daily also carried a snippet of a story that said that the Telugu Desam Party and Janata Dal (United), key for the National Democratic Alliance, were pushing to get the post of Speaker in Parliament in exchange for their support.

Further, it carried a story about the fall that the Indian stock markets witnessed as the election results were being announced. “Domestic stock markets witnessed its worst trading sessions in over five years with Sensex and Nifty crashing over 8% in intra-day trading,” it said.

Front page of The Indian Express.

The Telegraph led with the “India cuts Modi down” headline and said the election verdict had “effected corrections on the democracy scale, bringing in a spirited and inspired Opposition which may yet not count itself out of the power stakes in New Delhi”.

Front page of The Telegraph.

Compact newspaper Mid-Day said: “Dogged INDIA lives to fight another day, as ab ki baar, 272 bhi too far”. This was a play on the BJP’s election slogan “Ab ki baar, 400 paar” (This time, it will be above 400).

With an illustration, it showed the Opposition putting up a fight against the National Democratic Alliance.

Front page of Mid-Day.

British daily Financial Times’ front page focussed on the BJP’s inability to achieve a full majority. It said that the Narendra Modi-led government would have to rely on allies and highlighted the fall in stock market.

“Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was deprived of its parliamentary majority in a shock election result last night that will force India’s prime minister to rely on smaller allies to secure a historic third term,” said the newspaper.

Leading Hindi daily Dainik Jagran’s front page also highlighted the BJP missing the majority mark. It also pointed out that several Union ministers, including Smriti Irani and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, lost the elections.

It carried an illustration depicting the BJP’s reliance on its alliance partners to form the government and headlined it with “Victory to democracy”.

Lead story of Dainik Bhaskar.
Front page of Dainik Bhaskar.

Amar Ujala led with: “Ab ki baar NDA sarkaar.” This time, NDA government. It pointed out that the BJP lost Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad Lok Sabha constituency, which includes the Ayodhya Assembly segment.

During the Lok Sabha election, the BJP cited the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya as one of its achievements in its second term in power, and criticised Opposition parties for not supporting it.

Marathi-language newspaper Lokmat led the frontpage with the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s bumper performance but also said “Firr ek baar, NDA sarkar.” Once again, NDA government.

Front page of Lokmat.

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