19 May 2014
South African President Jacob Zuma was among the first world leaders to offer congratulations and good wishes to Indian Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi for his party’s sweeping victory in India’s general elections.
“With India under the leadership of Mr Modi, the government of South Africa looks forward to consolidating the strong bilateral political and economic relations that exist between our two sister Republics,” Zuma said in a statement on Saturday.
Results released on Friday showed that Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had swept aside the long-dominant Congress party in India’s most decisive poll result in three decades, winning 282 seats to Congress’s 44 in the 543-strong Lok Sabha, or lower house of Parliament.
Zuma paid tribute to outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his “progressive leadership” of India, noting that Singh had played a vital role in consolidating relations between South Africa and India.
South Africa and India already enjoy strong historical relations that have been formalized through various bilateral and multilateral mechanisms. The two countries are both members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) and G20 groupings.