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India’s President ‘Ram Nath Kovind’ Designates ‘Narendra Modi’ as PM for Second Term

The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament

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Newly elected lawmakers from India's ruling alliance led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party raise their hands in support of Narendra Modi's election as their leader in New Delhi, May 25, 2019. VOA

India’s president on Saturday appointed Narendra Modi as the prime minister soon after newly elected lawmakers from the ruling alliance, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, elected him as their leader following a thunderous victory in national elections.

President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet that he also asked Modi to forward the names of those to be appointed as ministers in his government and the date for the swearing-in for his second five-year term as prime minister. Modi and some leaders of his alliance met the president on Saturday.

Media reports said Modi was likely to be sworn in by Kovind on Thursday.

BJP president Amit Shah announced Modi’s name as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance in a meeting of the lawmakers in the Central Hall of Parliament in New Delhi.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, second right, hugs senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader M.M. Joshi as L.K. Advani, left, watches after Modi’s election as ruling alliance leader, in New Delhi, May 25, 2019. VOA

The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, after the official vote count from the six-week-long election was completed on Friday. That is well beyond the simple majority a party in India needs to form a government.

The BJP’s top rival, the Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, won 52 seats, and the All India Trinamool Congress led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee won 22.

Unity movement

Critics say Modi and his party have applied divisive policies and used a Hindu-first strategy. But Modi said after Saturday’s vote that “this election has become a movement of social unity.” “It is generally said that the election divides, creates distances, makes walls. But the 2019 elections have worked to break the walls,” he said in his address.

On Friday, Modi met with his outgoing Cabinet ministers and later presented his resignation to the country’s president. The president asked the officials to continue to serve until the new government assumes office.

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The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. VOA

Gandhi, whose great-grandfather, grandmother and father were all prime ministers, personally conceded his seat, long a Congress party bastion, to his BJP rival, India’s textiles minister, marking the end of an era for modern India’s most powerful political dynasty.

Counting of the estimated 600 million ballots cast over six weeks of staggered polling — the world’s largest democratic exercise — began early Thursday.

ALSO READ: Here’s How TikTok Made PM Modi Popular Among Young Voters

Hindu-first politics

The victory was largely seen as a referendum on Modi’s Hindu-first politics that some observers say have bred intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities, as well as his muscular stance on neighboring Pakistan, with whom India nearly went to war earlier this year after suicide attacks killed more than 40 Indian security officials in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Modi effectively used the incident as a major campaign tool after responding to the attack with an airstrike in Pakistan that triggered nationalist sentiments, with the BJP saying Modi is the right person to ensure India’s national security. (VOA)

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Here’s How TikTok Made PM Modi Popular Among Young Voters

The clip became a sensational TikTok topic that floated on social media platforms for quite a while

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The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

Nearly 1.5 crore young “digital natives”, most of whom cast their votes for the first time, chose to vote for Narendra Modi as India’s next prime minister and Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok played a great role in creating a “Modi wave” among them.

While the seasoned members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were busy charting out strategies and organising rallies, the younger, tech-savvy karyakartas took charge of expanding Modi’s digital presence across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — and TikTok.

TikTok, which claims to have over 120 million monthly active users in India, played a crucial part in circulating dialogues, speeches and candid reactions from Modi on smartphones across the length and breadth of the country.

“One day, my Instagram was flooded with TikTok videos showing Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Modi sharing hugs and winks during a Parliament session with ‘Aankh maare, ladka aankh maare’ song playing in the background. It will always be one of my favourites this election season,” Riya Kalwani, content writer from Mumbai told IANS.

“Seriously, whoever took the time and energy to make these videos, hats off to them,” she added.

The app-struck young voters took to the platform to record themselves, shouting the famous “Mitro” and “Iss baar fir Modi sarkar” videos, hash-tagged them with social media trends and shared those.

After Modi prefixed the word “Chowkidar” before his name on Twitter, TikTokers went berserk.

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves toward his supporters during an election campaign rally in New Delhi, May 8, 2019. VOA 

Not just individuals but families recorded themselves imitating Modi’s “Aap aashvast rahiye, aapka ye chowkidar, poori tarah chowkanna hai” dialogue along with videos on the “Mein bhi chowkidar hu” songs.

“So many people did TikTok videos on ‘Zyada se zyada ye mera kya kar lenge? Aree hum toh fakeer aadmi hai, jhola leke chal padenge’ dialogue. It was everywhere. There was also this one where people have dubbed Modi discussing popular daily soap ‘Ye rishta kya kehlata hai.’ Just hilarious,” said Deepika Tiwari, a media student.

Another TikTok video that trended showed a TV screen recording of Modi speaking in a session with a paper in hand and his supporters banging the table behind him in agreement along with a famous dialogue from Bollywood movie “Munna Bhai MBBS”: ‘Sir, bahar casualty mei koi marrne ki halat pe raha, toh usko form bharna zaroori hai kya?”

Also Read: India 2nd in Government Requests for Users’ Data on Facebook

In addition to Hindi, several TikTok videos were shared in other regional languages including Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Gujarati and Bengali.

In an interview with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, Modi said that he enjoys memes on the Internet.

The clip became a sensational TikTok topic that floated on social media platforms for quite a while. (IANS)