Modi's alliance wins majority in India's election, but his party loses seats

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared victory in the country's general election as his ruling party-led alliance maintained a majority. But his own party fell far short of winning a single-party majority.

Vote counting started on Tuesday. The election began in April, with 543 seats in India's lower house up for grabs.

The results released by the Election Commission early on Wednesday show that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance secured 293 seats.

The prime minister said at his party's headquarters in New Delhi, "Today's victory is the victory of the world's largest democracy."

The ruling coalition will likely rush to hold talks to maintain the Modi administration for a third term. But his BJP party was reduced considerably to 240 seats.

An opposition alliance increased its seats, far more than exit polls had predicted.

Analysts point out that voters, mainly in rural areas, are dissatisfied with deepening economic disparities and worsening unemployment amid the country's economic growth under Modi's leadership.

Rahul Gandhi of the largest opposition Indian National Congress party said the election clearly showed that Indian people are calling on Modi to step down.