New Delhi — Delirious supporters of India’s ruling party banged drums and smothered each other in saffron paint as they celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in the country’s giant election. Across India, supporters of Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress party were both stunned by the size of the Hindu nationalist leader’s triumph, with early counts indicating a thumping majority for the BJP. The normally austere BJP headquarters in Delhi turned into a raucous circus of drummers, firecrackers, dancing and singing with thousands of supporters filling the yard and nearby streets. Armed police stood guard and special commandos watched from vantage points, as devotees rode horses in the streets while a kilometre-long firecracker was lit, sending a huge cloud of smoke into Delhi’s polluted skies. Some carried effigies of Modi bearing the slogan “Singham returns” (“The lion returns”). Across town, the Congress party’s main offic...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now