Examining the Impact of India’s 2024 Election

Left: Supporters throw petals on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrives at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi, India, June 4, 2024. Adnan Abidi/Reuters

June 27, 2024

Online Webinar

The 2024 general election in India concluded on June 1, the election took place between April and June with over 600 million Indians casting votes. Narendra Modi and the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 240 seats, a decline from their previous majority but enough seats to form a coalition government and ensure his third term as India’s Prime Minister. The opposition alliance, INDIA, led by the Indian National Congress, performed stronger than many expected, winning 234 seats and setting up new challenges for Modi’s third term. 

Key issues facing the leading parties include economic growth, India’s relationship with China, public health, national security, and climate change. Prime Minister Modi, who has been in office since 2014, seeks to continue his policies aimed at economic reform and nationalistic governance, while Gandhi advocates for institutional reforms, a focus on social equity, and inclusive economic growth. 

The election results are highly consequential not only for India but also for its relationship with the United States, and specifically California. The long standing economic, technological, and cultural ties between India and California, home to a significant Indian diaspora, guarantee that the outcome will impact bilateral trade, technology partnerships, and immigration policies.

Our accomplished speakers will discuss the results and the implications this election will have for both India and the United States, with a special focus on California. Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session.


To register for the India webinar, visit Zoom Registration Page.

Guest Speaker

Michael Kugelman is the director of the Wilson Center's South Asia Institute. He is also a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine and writes its South Asia Brief, a weekly newsletter of news and analysis from the region. He has managed the South Asia portfolio at the Wilson Center since 2007, and he leads the Center’s programming and research on the region.  His main specialty is Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan and U.S. relations with each of them. His recent projects focus on shifting geopolitics in South Asia, US-India technology cooperation, the future of US-Pakistan relations, and the role of strategy during the US-led war in Afghanistan. He has published op-eds and commentaries in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Politico, Bloomberg View, CNN.com, NPR, Al Jazeera, and newspapers and magazines in India and Pakistan.

He has been interviewed by numerous major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, BBC, CNN, NPR, and Voice of America. He has also produced a number of longer publications on South Asia, including the edited volumes Pakistan’s Interminable Energy Crisis: Is There Any Way Out? (Wilson Center, 2015), Pakistan’s Runaway Urbanization: What Can Be Done? (Wilson Center, 2014), and India’s Contemporary Security Challenges (Wilson Center, 2013). He has published policy briefs, journal articles, and book chapters on issues ranging from Pakistani youth and social media to India’s energy security strategy and transboundary water management in South Asia. Mr. Kugelman received his M.A. in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He received his B.A. from American University’s School of International Service.


Medha Jaishankar is a producer and media consultant with nearly two decades of experience in global entertainment. Her recent projects include the feature films "He Went That Way," starring Jacob Elordi and Zachary Quinto, and "Don’t Feed The Children," featuring Michelle Dockery and Giancarlo Esposito, and directed by Destry Allyn Spielberg. Her unique capacity to foster and lead cross-cultural collaborations that enhance bilateral entertainment trade led to her selection by the US-India Business Council (part of the US Chamber of Commerce) to co-chair their Media & Entertainment Council in 2022.

Medha has consulted for notable companies in India (Reliance, Mahindra & Mahindra, and JetSynthesys) and executives in the US (Jack Giarraputo - Founder of Happy Madison, Phil Quartararo - Former CEO of Virgin Music America). Recently, she led the music technology company Virtual Sonics in a collaboration with Sony to secure an exclusive distribution deal with aerospace company Safran. Through Virtual Sonics, she continues to contribute to audio advancements in entertainment, healthcare, and commercial real estate.

Medha began her career in New York City as a grip/gaffer on several films and then worked for the BBC's "Talking Movies" as a camerawoman, editor, producer, and reporter, interviewing notable filmmakers and actors. She later consulted for Reliance Entertainment in India and contributed to the 2012 Mumbai Mantra-Sundance Institute's screenwriters lab while directing MTV India's Blue Frog Diaries. After moving to LA, she collaborated with Oscar and BAFTA-winning producers, produced music videos for notable artists, and executive produced horror short films, earning accolades at major festivals. Medha also produced the podcast "EkWomen" with Warner Music India.

A polyglot who has lived in eight countries, Medha is involved with #StartWith8Hollywood as a mentor to female filmmakers, participates as a teacher/mentor at the screenwriting institution Roadmap Writers, and is a member of the advisory board for the LA based Asian World Film Festival. 


To register for the India webinar, visit Zoom Registration Page.


The Pacific Council's 2024 Global Election Series

This summer the Pacific Council will host a series of webinars looking at the results from three major elections, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom. The conversations will examine what the results mean for each country, their allies and provide time for Pacific Council members to engage in Q&A with expert speakers. 

Each election has the potential to shift the respective bilateral relationships with the U.S. In Mexico, a range of critical issues will need to be addressed with U.S. partners including: trade, migration and illegal trafficking. 

The election in India will be watched closely due to India’s importance as an ally for countering China’s regional influence and prominent role in global trade. Additionally, at a time when democratic institutions and elections are under threat from foreign interference and disinformation, all while populist rhetoric continues to escalate, a successful election in the world’s largest democracy can be a positive moment for the democratic community. 

Finally, in the United Kingdom, where the post-Brexit landscape continues to take shape, the election will be crucial for ensuring the continuation of the unique bilateral relationship between the U.K. and U.S. on issues related to transatlantic trade, global financial markets, NATO in the face of Russian aggression, and intelligence cooperation. 


To register for the India webinar, visit Zoom Registration Page.

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