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India’s ruling party dismisses election defeat claims

8 February 2015 11:59

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India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has rejected predictions of a defeat in the recent state assembly elections for the capital, New Delhi.

Six exit polls, published hours after voting ended on Saturday, showed that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, had beaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party.

However, Ramesh Bidhuri, general secretary of the BJP’s Delhi party, predicted that the official results of the elections due on Tuesday would yield a different outcome, saying, “The results will defy the exit poll predictions as BJP will emerge victorious and will definitely form the next government.”

“(But) if BJP does lose the elections, we cannot say Narendra Modi’s popularity has dwindled or the Modi wave is over,” he added.

More than 13 million people were eligible to go to the polls on Saturday at nearly 12,000 polling stations to elect representatives to Delhi’s 70-seat legislative assembly.

The vote has been widely considered as a test of Modi’s popularity.

In May 2014, the BJP won 274 seats in the 543-seat lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha. However, the ruling party lacks a majority in the Asian country’s upper house.

The Indian premier needs to win most of the state elections over the next four years in order to gain control of both houses of parliament, where he is attempting to push through reforms to revive the Asian country’s economy.

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