The results of India’s parliamentary election proved bittersweet for its prime minister.

Narendra Modi secured a historical third straight term as leader of his country — matching the accomplishment of India's first post-independence leader, Jawaharlal Nehru — but his Bharatiya Janata Party lost its majority in the 545-seat Lok Sahba, the Lower House of Parliament.

Even though Modi and the BJP are almost certain to stay in power, their wings have been clipped. A coalition government must be formed and the need to keep allies happy will moderate Modi’s agenda. There is no mistaking the rebuke to the prime minister. This vote was a referendum on him and his performance: Indian voters found both wanting.