Wake-up call for Modi as BJP is trounced in Delhi local polls

Defeat may embolden opposition parties, undermine support for Modi

Published Tue, Feb 10, 2015 · 09:50 PM
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New Delhi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi conceded an overwhelming defeat in a local election in India's capital, his first setback at the polls since taking charge of Asia's third-biggest economy last year.

Aam Aadmi Party, a two-year-old party led by anti-graft activist Arvind Kejriwal, was ahead in 66 seats in the 70-member assembly, Election Commission results showed. Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party led in three seats, with Sonia Gandhi's Congress party left with zero.

Mr Modi said on Twitter that he spoke to Mr Kejriwal, congratulated him on the win and assured him of the federal government's "complete support in the development of Delhi". "This is the people's victory and it's a victory for honesty," Mr Kejriwal told thousands of cheering supporters on Tuesday, adding that the huge mandate surprised him. "With people's support, we will develop a city that both the poor and rich will be proud of." The results indicate a major swing against Mr Modi since the last Delhi electio…

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