Modi's BJP makes big gains in Indian state polls

Right-wing nationalist party emerges as largest party in Maharashtra and also wins Haryana

Modi's BJP makes big gains in Indian state polls

World Bulletin/News Desk

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received a major political boost after his Bharatiya Janata Party dethroned the Congress party in the northern state of Haryana and western state of Maharashtra.  

The right-wing nationalist party emerged as the largest party in Maharashtra on Sunday, with the support of 119 lawmakers in a house of 288, and got a majority in Haryana, bagging 48 seats in the 90-member state assembly.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson M.J. Akbar​ told Anadolu Agency: "Today’s verdict is a clear indication of Modi magic.

"I hope the opponent parties will realize it now."

BJP leader and federal minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters: "People have voted for good governance, they have rejected Congress, it’s a positive mandate."

The Congress party, which has ruled Haryana for 10 years and Maharashtra for 15 years, conceded defeat.

Alliance broken

Congress leader and outgoing Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said: "I extend my wishes to the new government to be formed and hope they will work for people at the same pace."

"There is an anti-incumbency factor, but we have performed better than we did in Lok Sabha [lower house of Indian parliament] polls," said Congress party leader and former minister Rajeev Shukla.

The BJP can form a government on its own in Haryana while it needs the support of an ally in Maharashtra as it lacks the requisite number of 145 seats. 

It may seek the support of Shiv Sena, a regional right-wing Hindu party and part of the BJP-led federal government, with whom it broke off a 25-year-old pre-poll alliance last month over a dispute about the post of chief minister.

The relationship between the BJP and Shiv Sena took an ugly turn last week when Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena's chief, bitterly criticized Modi in a party mouthpiece newspaper, calling him a “chaiwala” or tea-seller.

“If a chaiwala can become prime minister, why can’t I become Maharashtra chief minister?” Thackeray was quoted by the party newspaper as saying.

Major victory

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a former ally of Congress party, is keen to provide “outside support” to the BJP, a move likely to irk Congress with whom it has ruled Maharashtra since 1999.

Congress bagged 44 seats while its former ally NCP got 43 seats in Maharashtra.  

Sunday’s major electoral victory for the right-wing party comes as a shot in the arm for Modi who is credited with single-handedly leading his political party to victory in general elections held five months ago.

The triumph in two states helps Modi to fulfill his nationwide campaign of a "Congress-free India."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ekim 2014, 15:06

Muhammed Öylek