Indian State Election: BJP wins in UP-Uttarakhand; Congress in Punjab

Indian State Election: BJP wins in UP-Uttarakhand; Congress in Punjab

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The BJP has given Modi a thumping victory in Uttar Pradesh (UP), where the party has won 324 of the state’s 403 seats. The PM’s party has also bagged 57 out of 70 seats in neighbouring Uttarakhand. While Punjab has given the Congress another chance of comeback after 10 years with 77 seats out of 117. The party has also taken 28 seats out of 60 in Manipur. The Congress has won 17 seats in Goa, four short of the seats to form the state government. Votes were counted for assembly elections in five Indian states on Saturday. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party was the day’s biggest loser in Punjab, Indian media commented.

The ruling BJP had has shown an outright performance in UP with 324 seats, a whopping gain of 258 over its tally of 48 seats in the 2012 assembly election. It needs 202 to form government. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, which contested in partnership with the Congress, has accepted defeat. Yadav was expected to resign shortly.

In the hill state of Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP took an unassailable lead, bagged 57 of the state’s 70 seats. 11 seats went to the Congress.

In Punjab, the Congress has taken a strong lead, ahead in 77 seats; it needs 59 for a majority in the 117-member state assembly. AAP and the Akali Dal-BJP alliance are trailing far behind. The Congress was ahead of BJP in Manipur with 28 seats, three short of the 31 needed to form government in the state. Okram Ibobi Singh of the Congress has been chief minister for the last 15 years in this state.

The Congress received 17 seats in Goa, while BJP bagged 13. The debutant AAP has failed to open its account.

The mega UP election, held in seven rounds, is seen as a bellwether for the 2019 national election. PM Modi was the face of the BJP’s campaign and the party has credited the victory to his leadership.

“This is a mandate for PM Modi … I could see a surge, it is becoming a tsunami,” the Times of India quoted the union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP as saying.

The UP win will be seen as an endorsement of the PM’s stewardship of the economy after his high-risk decision last November to scrap 500 and 1,000 rupee notes worth 86 per cent of the cash in circulation, aimed at eliminating corruption and black money.

The victory will help improve the BJP’s strength in the Rajya Sabha or upper house of parliament where the government is in a minority and has trouble pushing legislation.

The Congress has done disastrously in recent elections. However, its win in Punjab and Manipur, will be the best news for the party, Indian media said.

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