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| 1 minute read

Will Modi Scale Back Investigations Post-Election?

The 2024 election for India’s Lok Sabha, or lower house of Parliament, resulted in a surprising slim margin of victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and its ruling coalition, the National Democratic Alliance. While some predicted the Alliance would capture up to 400 seats, the coalition secured only 293 seats, with the Bharatiya Janata Party losing 63 seats. Many Indian political observers see the results as a repudiation of right-wing nationalism and a victory for democratic pluralism.

Another not necessarily inconsistent interpretation is that the Indian electorate has rejected Modi’s weaponization of law enforcement bodies, such as the Enforcement Directorate (“ED”) and the Central Bureau of Investigation. Court filings reviewed by Reuters demonstrated that the ED “summoned, questioned or raided [premises tied to] nearly 150 politicians from the opposition since Modi took power in 2014.”  Opposition politicians from the Indian National Congress party, such as Rajasthan Legislative Assembly member Sachin Pilot, celebrated the election results, arguing they demonstrate the people’s “rejection” of law enforcement practices under Modi. National Congress Party leader Supriya Sule echoed this sentiment, stating that voters refused to allow continued “repression” of the political opposition by the ED and Central Bureau of Investigation. 

With the opposition gaining ground in the Lok Sabha, Modi is certainly in a weakened position. Some opposition politicians investigated by the ED are back in Parliament, including Mahua Moitra of Krishnanagar, who was investigated by the ED and charged with money laundering two months ago. Upon her reelection, Moitra said “they went to egregious lengths to discredit and destroy me and abused every process to do it. If I had gone down, it would have meant that brute force had triumphed over democracy.” With his Bharatiya Janata Party expected to moderate its hardline positions following its recent narrow victory, it is possible Modi will be forced scale back law enforcement investigations.  

Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) leader Supriya Sule, who defeated her sister-in-law and NCP candidate Sunetra Pawar in the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency thanked her supporters and said that voters had rejected the "repression" of the central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).


political risk & strategic intelligence, anti-corruption & fraud investigation, asia-pacific