Home News Early election results show a sharp turn for the Indian National Congress

Early election results show a sharp turn for the Indian National Congress

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In India’s last general election in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party won 303 of 543 parliamentary seats, nearly six times as many as the main opposition Indian National Congress. This was a heavy electoral blow for the once-dominant Congress party, but one that appears to have lost much of its power in recent years, with exit polls showing a 3.3% increase this year. There’s no suggestion that things will get much better..

But preliminary results on Tuesday showed the Congress party faring far better than expected, with the party and its allies leading in nearly 230 races, a sudden turnaround that drew cheers at party headquarters in New Delhi, where supporters erupted in cheers every time television stations announced that one of the candidates was back in the lead.

“Whatever the final result, one thing is clear: it is a moral victory for the Congress and our leader Rahul Gandhi, and a defeat for the BJP,” political worker Robin Michael said of Modi’s BJP.

While there is no sign that the Congress party and its opposition alliance will muster the majority to oust Mr. Modi, party members say they have dented his aura of invincibility. The most prominent figure of the Congress Party He is also the great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India.

Last year, when Gandhi tried to boost his standing by leading long marches across India, the BJP embroiled him in a legal battle that resulted in his Expelled from ParliamentLater, India’s Supreme Court restored his seat. On Tuesday, Mr Gandhi was expected to win a parliamentary seat in the southern state of Kerala.

The Congress party, long at the center of Indian politics but struggling to find its way and offer an ideological alternative to the Hindu nationalist BJP, has faced rebellions, infighting and occasional soul-searching over whether to unite behind a new face or ultimately cling to its dynastic leadership.

This year, Mr. Gandhi has set a goal of doubling the 52 seats the party won in 2019. As of late Tuesday afternoon, the party was leading in nearly 100 seats.

“We will stop Modi from making a mockery of the country and stirring up discord among the people,” said Sandeep Mishra, a Congress party official at its headquarters, adding: “Indian people have had enough of Modi.”

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