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Narendra Modi’s BJP triumphs in India State elections

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party has won a series of resounding victories in India’s state polls, strengthening its grip on national politics ahead of general elections next year.

The BJP achieved majorities in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – three states in the populous and politically influential northern Hindi-speaking belt – flipping the last two away from opposition rival the Indian National Congress.

Modi declared victory for his party on Sunday evening. “The results in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan indicate that the people of India are firmly with politics of good governance and development,” he wrote on social media platform X. Congress won a majority only in Telangana, a prosperous southern state.

The party’s wipeout in northern India in the closely watched polls will deal a blow to efforts to secure its place as the main challenger next year. National elections, in which Modi hopes to secure a third term as prime minister, are expected to start in April. “Modi’s appeal is still very strong in the Hindi heartland,” said Asim Ali, a political commentator based in Delhi.

The prime minister and his allies would now “get a free hand to run the 2024 campaign. Had the BJP done badly in these elections, I think dissension would have begun”, Ali added. Smriti Irani, a BJP minister, said the results were evidence of “Modi Magic” – what party loyalists call the prime minister’s personal popularity and ability to win votes.

The party leaned heavily on Modi to lead their campaigning for the elections, which were staggered over November. The prime minister spent weeks travelling across the states to tout the BJP’s record.Mizoram, a smaller fifth state in India’s north-east, will report its results on Monday.

The biggest upset was in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, a mineral-rich state that pollsters had expected the opposition to retain. As of Sunday night the BJP was leading in 54 of the state’s 90 seats, according to the Election Commission of India, representing a gain of 39 seats from the previous state election in 2018. Supriya Shrinate, a spokesperson for Congress, acknowledged that the results in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were “deeply shocking”. Financial Times

The post Narendra Modi’s BJP triumphs in India State elections appeared first on DailyNews.

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