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No Bill Maher, PM Modi did not ‘lose big’ in India: Here is why you need to stop misleading your American audience

Despite a grand alliance of 20+ rival political parties and a growing anti-incumbency, BJP emerged victorious under the leadership of PM Modi.

American television host Bill Maher recently courted controversy for making false claims about the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in India. With complete disregard for facts, he alleged that the BJP-led Modi government ‘lost big’ during the elections.

Bill Maher made the contentious claims during his show, which was aired on Thursday (20th June). One of the guests on the show happened to be ‘journalist’ Joel Stein, who claimed that the issue of mass immigration in the United States was a right-wing narrative.

“There are other roots of this far-right populism besides immigration. I mean, India has far-right populism,” he alleged. At that point, Bill Maher intervened and claimed that ‘right-wing politics’ had been rejected by the people in India.

“Just got rejected. Modi just lost those elections big time,” Bill Maher remarked in a display of sheer ignorance.

Contrary to the claims made by the American television host, the Indian Prime Minister did not lose the Lok Sabha elections. His party aka the BJP won a whopping 240 seats out of 543 Parliamentary constituencies.

A total of 230 million people voted for the BJP-led Narendra Modi (which is more than the combined total votes polled for Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the 2020 US Presidential elections).

While it is true that BJP fell 32 seats short of the absolute majority mark, the saffron party was able to achieve it easily with the help of its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and independent candidates.

Congress peddles misleading narrative of ‘moral victory’

At the time of writing, the BJP-led-NDA has a brute strength of 300 seats in the Lok Sabha (lower House of the Parliament).

It is worth noting that the Congress and its grand I.N.D.I. alliance have been claiming ‘moral victory’ ever since the election results were declared on 4th June 2024.

They had been falsely claiming that the Modi government had been defeated, which is nothing but targeted disinformation and mockery of the people’s mandate.

BJP won big in 2024 Lok Sabha elections

For the unversed, no political party has secured 240 seats or above for 28 years (1985-2013). BJP reversed the trend by clinching 282 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and 303 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Although not as spectacular as the preceding elections, BJP’s current tally of 240 seats is better than Congress’ electoral performance in the past 40 years.

Congress (the second largest party after BJP) had secured 44 seats in 2014, 52 seats in 2019 and 99 seats in 2024. Its combined tally of 195 seats in 3 Lok Sabha elections is still lower than BJP’s record in the 2024 Lok Sabha election alone.

Bill Maher yet to comprehend magnitude of BJP’s electoral performance

To add salt to the wound of the Opposition, Narendra Modi became the only Prime Minister since 1962 to win three consecutive elections and to be sworn in as the Head of the government of the Republic of India.

This is no small feat given that no other politician or political party has been able to emulate such a performance in the past 52 years. Despite a grand alliance of 20+ rival political parties and a growing anti-incumbency, BJP emerged victorious under the leadership of PM Modi.

Bill Maher sought to ignore all these facts to erroneously declare that ‘Modi has lost big’ in Indian elections. The complete lack of objectivity and factual readiness leaves an average American listener vulnerable to disinformation.

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Dutta
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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