Narendra Modi thanks voters for securing landslide win

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on Friday to form a new cabinet to tackle a stuttering economy and other challenges facing his second term after winning a big majority.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked the people of India for giving him a “historic mandate” of five more years in office, after a landslide victory in the general election.

“We all want a new India. I want to bow down my head and say thank you,” he said in a victory address to supporters of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party had won 296 of the 542 seats up for grabs and was ahead in seven more, up from the 282 it won in 2014.

The BJP would have the first back-to-back majority in the lower house of parliament for a single party since 1984. Votes will be fully counted by Friday morning.

After a rancorous and a polarizing election campaign, the focus shifts back to an economy that is slowing, even as the U.S.-China trade war rages and global oil prices tick higher.

The general election was widely viewed as a referendum on the prime minister’s Hindu nationalist politics, and the victory was won despite growing unemployment, fears of a recession and a slump in industrial production.

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