India

India's BJP set to form governments in crucial states

India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate the party’s victory in various state Assembly elections in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption The BJP has swept to power in three key states

India's main opposition BJP is set to form governments in three crucial states after winning absolute majorities in assembly elections.

The governing Congress was humiliated in Rajasthan and Delhi, while the BJP held Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

But the BJP stopped short of a majority in Delhi after a surprise strong showing by the new Aam Aadmi Party.

The polls are seen as a key test for the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP, ahead of 2014's general elections.

The only state where the Congress has won is Mizoram in the north-east - the party has won 28 of the 40 seats and is leading in one more. The vote-counting is still going on there.

In Rajasthan, the BJP won 162 assembly seats, leaving the Congress, which had been in power in the state, with just 21 seats.

The BJP also retained power in the central states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

It won 165 seats against the 58 for Congress in Madhya Pradesh.

But the contest was much closer in Chhattisgarh where the BJP won 49 seats - just three more than the majority needed to form a government - and the Congress finished its tally at 39.

The Congress party also lost control of Delhi's 70-seat assembly.

With 31 seats, the BJP fell just four short of a majority to form a government in the capital after a surprise strong showing by a new anti-corruption Aam Admi Party (AAP) or Common Man's Party.

The AAP, led by former civil servant Arvind Kejriwal and born out of a strong anti-corruption movement that swept India two years ago, won 28 seats in the Delhi assembly elections.

Mr Kejriwal said his party will "play the role of constructive opposition and will not seek or give support from any party to form a government".

The BJP sprung a surprise on Sunday evening, saying that although it had emerged as the single largest party, it did not have the mandate to form the government.

"We respect the people's mandate and we will not indulge in breaking or supporting other parties or candidates to form the government," the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan said.

With a hung assembly appearing imminent, Delhi may be forced to hold re-elections, analysts say.

The Congress party that has ruled India for most of its existence as an independent nation has been humiliated in these polls, in what is being seen as a wave of rebellion against its handling of the economy - and corruption, reports the BBC's Andrew North in Delhi.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites