People’s blessings in form of historic win in elections a ‘victory of democracy’: PM Modi in Italy

Bari (Italy): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday highlighted the recently-held Lok Sabha elections in his address at an outreach session of the G7 summit here and said the “blessings” that the people of India have given in the form of a historic win in the polls is a “victory of democracy”.

The prime minister in his speech also shared some figures to underline the mammoth scale of the world’s largest democratic exercise in India which was held between April 19 and June 1 in seven phases. Votes were counted on June 4.

Modi is in Italy to attend the 50th G7 Summit at the invitation of Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni. He addressed an outreach session on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean, alongside leaders from other countries, including Pope Francis.

This is his first foreign visit after being sworn in as the prime minister of India for the third consecutive time after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s victory in the general elections.

“The blessings that the people of India have given in the form of this historic victory is a victory of democracy,” Modi said, adding that it is a “victory” for the entire democratic world.

“And just a few days after assuming office, I am extremely happy to be present among you, friends,” Modi said.

In the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the BJP with 240 seats fell short of a majority but the NDA secured the mandate with 293 seats.

The Congress bagged 99 seats while the INDIA bloc got 234 seats. Following the polls, two Independents who won have also pledged support to the Congress, taking the INDIA bloc tally to 236.

The G7 Summit is being hosted at the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Apulia.

“Last week, many of your friends were busy with the elections for the European Parliament. Some friends will be going through the excitement of the elections in the coming time. In India too, the election time was a few months ago,” Modi said, quoting some figures to underline the “speciality and vastness” of the Indian elections.

“More than 2,600 political parties, more than one million polling booths, more than five million electronic voting machines, 15 million polling staff, and approximately 970 million voters, out of which 640 million exercised their franchise. Completed by the ubiquitous use of technology, the electoral process has been made fair and transparent,” he said.

“And, the results of such a big election were also declared within a few hours!” the prime minister said.

It was the biggest festival of democracy in the world and the history of humanity, Modi said in his address at the session.

“It is also a living example of our ancient values as the mother of democracy. And, it is my good fortune that the people of India have allowed me to serve them for the third consecutive time. This is the first time in India, in the last six decades, that this has happened,” he asserted.

Modi was sworn in as a prime minister on June 9 for a third term, equalling the feat of the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who won in the 1952, 1957 and 1962 general elections.