Modi's party claims victory in crucial Indian state election6:04 PM, May 15, 2018
India(Karnataka):But a post poll alliance could still shatter Bharatiya Janata Party's dreams.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party emerged wining more seats in a crucial election in the southern Indian state of Karnataka in a major setback to their rival Congress party, setting the tone for national elections early next year.
Modi's pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won 104 seats, but maintains that they could manage the simple majority of 112 needed in the 224-seat house to form the government.
Congress party won 78 seats and the local Janata Dal (Secular) party 37, when election results were decalred May 15 for 222 seats. Voting in two seats were countermand.
A jubilant BJP has termed the party's victory as historic. BJP leaders like Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the people of Karnataka have rejected the "toxic and negative politics of Congress."
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad termed it as "a victory of a Narendra Modi-led campaign. People of Karnataka, irrespective of caste and creed, reposed their faith in his programs and policies," Prasad, federal law and justice minister, told reporters.
Despite BJP leaders projecting themselves victorious, a post poll alliance of Congress and JDS, could still shatter the BJP's dreams of forming government in Karnataka.
However, media discussions project the BJP victory as indicative of trends that could sweep the national elections due in May next year. Congress had been working for victory in Karnataka to lift the sagging spirit of its workers in preparation for the national elections.
The Congress, the grand old party that ruled India for most its seven-decade history as a free nation, could be reduced to insignificance if it fails for form the government. The party runs governments in just two of India's 29 states, Punjab and Mizoram.
Some have credited BJP's victories to Modi's oratorical skills and his promises of corruption-free governance and socio-economic development.
Christians not worried
Catholic leader A.C. Michael said the results clearly show the strength of the BJP.
"The result should now help the unity of all BJP-opposing parties to stand together to protect India's secular and democratic ethos," in the run up to the national elections. "It is time for all secular minded people to come together," Michael said.
Leaders of religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims have complained of increased attacks on their people ever since the BJP took power in New Delhi. They say BJP policies tacitly help the ideology of building a nation based on Hindu hegemony.
Bishop Henry D'Souza of Bellary Diocese in the state said he welcomed and respected the people's will expressed through the ballot.
"There may be some fears and challenges about religious amity and peace. But the civil society and constitutional systems are capable of dealing with them," Bishop D'Souza told ucanews.com.
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