Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

UAE leaders congratulate Narendra Modi on India election win

The incumbent prime minister secured an overall majority in an emphatic win

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed with Indian Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi in February 2018. The UAE and India enjoy strong ties. Photo: Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi 
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed with Indian Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi in February 2018. The UAE and India enjoy strong ties. Photo: Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi 

The President, Sheikh Khalifa, sent a cable to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, congratulating him on his party general election victory.

State news agency Wam also reported that similar greetings were dispatched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Mr Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party swept to victory on Thursday, securing an emphatic win over the Congress party and other challengers.

On Friday India's election commission confirmed the BJP secured 303 seats out of 543 in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, giving it an even bigger majority than five years ago and defying predictions of a dip in popularity.

The main opposition Congress party trailed the BJP with 52 seats.

"Congratulations Narendra Modi and the people of India upon your election win. We look forward to advancing our strategic bilateral relations further and working together for the progress and prosperity of our people," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Twitter on Friday.

"I was pleased to talk to my dear friend Narendra Modi, India’s PM, over the phone to congratulate him on his party’s election win," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter.

"We look forward to working together to deepen our strong bilateral ties. The UAE wishes India & its friendly people more development & prosperity."

Despite heightened tensions between the two countries, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan was quick to congratulate the Indian leader after Mr Modi declared victory on Thursday.

China's President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump were among the other world leaders to congratulate Mr Modi, with Mr Trump describing his victory as "BIG".

Indian residents in the UAE followed the election closely, with thousands travelling home to participate during the six-week voting period.

In all, more than 600 million votes were cast during the marathon exercise in the world's largest democracy.

Mr Modi met allies and former mentors on Friday to plot a course for his second term. A considerable to-do list includes addressing India's economic growth and reducing unemployment, as well as fixing the agriculture sector on which 70 percent of households depend.

The main opposition Congress party, which has governed India for much of its post-independence history, improved on its historic low five years ago of 44 seats but still only managed 52.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi lost his own seat in Amethi, long a family bastion. He did win a seat in the southern state of Kerala, however, a quirk allowed under Indian election rules.

Updated: May 24, 2019 06:03 PM

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