Sunday, December 03, 2023
India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in regional polls, on Sunday, with a lead in three of the four states, namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, along with the southern state of Telangana.
The results indicate a significant boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party ahead of the general elections, which are scheduled to take place in six months.
The provincial elections were the last before the national vote, where Modi will be seeking a third term. BJP's strong performance in all three heartland states has been widely reported by various news channels.
"We always said we will win the heartland states," BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda told Reuters. "The results are the outcome of our finest political strategy and work on the ground."
Modi remains popular after a decade in power with surveys pointing to his victory next year, but a 28-party opposition alliance led by Congress has come together to jointly fight the BJP, posing a new challenge.
The BJP suffered a setback after losing Karnataka to Congress earlier this year.
The opposition alliance, called the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance or INDIA, did not feature in the state polls and it was a direct contest between BJP and Congress.
The four states are home to more than 160 million voters and account for 82 seats in the 543-member parliament.
Modi and leaders of Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, crisscrossed the states, addressing campaign rallies and promising cash payouts, farm loan waivers, subsidies and insurance cover, among other incentives, to woo voters, Reuters reported.
Politicians and analysts say state elections do not always influence the outcome of the general elections or accurately indicate national voter mood.
Results of the last round of state elections before national elections have been misleading in the past.
The small northeastern state of Mizoram also voted last month and votes there are due to be counted on Monday.
The two people injured included a Frenchman aged around 60 and a foreign tourist, neither of whom was found to be in a life-threatening condition after being treated by emergency services