I International

Modi faces major setback in Indian state elections

According to officials results, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost the elections in three primary states of India.

The nationwide elections held since November were seen as a test for Modi’s BJP for the upcoming general elections in 2019 when he would face Rahul Gandhi from the opposing party, the Indian National Congress (INC); a secular party with a social, liberal standing.

Tuesday’s loss in the state elections was the BJP’s most significant setback since Modi took office in 2014. It lost in the states Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, which were once heartlands of the right-wing, Hindu-nationalist BJP; especially in Madhya Pradesh where the party held power for the last 15 years.

Modi announced his defeat late this Tuesday.

We accept the people’s mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people…” Modi tweeted.

While the votes are still being counted, the current results come from the Indian Election Commission which showed the INC leading with 54 seats out of 90 in Chhattisgarh. The BJP has won 11 seats.

In Madhya Pradesh, the INC lead with 98 seats out of 230, with the BJP behind with 97 seats.

In Rajasthan, the INC won 99 seats out of 200 while the BJP won 73.

Mr Ghandi thanked the INC’s workers and said that “This is a victory of Congress workers, small traders, farmers. This is a big responsibility for Congress party, and we will work… We are going to provide these states a vision. We are going to provide these states a government that they can be proud of,” s

After independence from Britain in 1947, the INC, or Congress Party, has ruled India for most of the time. However, the party has never performed well in state elections until Tuesday.

The election results from the Mizoram and Telangana states were announced to a later time. In both states, regional parties

On Tuesday, the election result of two more states, Mizoram and Telangana, were published by the election commission. In both states, regional parties won the votes.