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India's Modi facing urgent economic challenges after win

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 file photo, Indian farmers and agricultural laborers march towards the Indian Parliament during a protest rally in New Delhi, India. India's slowing economy appears not to have deterred millions of voters from supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party's return to power. Final curtain fell down on Friday, May 24, 2019, on the marathon Indian parliament election that gave a second term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite his government's flawed economic performance and his Hindu nationalist party's divisive rhetoric. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

NEW DELHI — Dissatisfaction with India’s lagging economy didn’t deter voters from handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party a landslide parliamentary election victory.

Now, they’ll be expecting something in return: faster, bolder action on long-promised reforms to transform the economy and improve the lives of India’s 1.3 billion people.

Modi made big promises ahead of the vote, viewed by many as a referendum on his first five-year term, which began in 2014. His election manifesto included pledges to double farmers’ incomes and provide lavish aid to rural areas. He also vowed to make India the world’s third-largest economy by 2030.

Such promises rang hollow for many unhappy with rising unemployment, slow progress in reforms and infrastructure construction and other initiatives that helped him win office in the first place.

The Associated Press