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Ruling Congress suffers defeat in local Indian elections
December 9, 2013, 6:32 am

Supporters throw flower petals as Arvind Kejriwal, center, leader of India’s Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, speaks in New Delhi [AP]

Supporters throw flower petals as Arvind Kejriwal, center, leader of India’s Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man’s Party, speaks in New Delhi [AP]

India’s ruling Congress has suffered a massive defeat in four local elections held over the past few weeks by the main opposition group the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Chief of ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi admitted defeat on Sunday, saying it was time for “serious introspection”.

In the Indian capital of New Delhi, anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party) made a stunning debut as it stopped both the leading national parties from mustering enough seats to stake claim to forming the local government.

“Today history has been made and Indian politics have changed forever. We are very ordinary folk, this is people’s victory,” Kejriwal said in an interview to New Delhi TV on Sunday night.

The new entrant AAP ended fifteen years of Congress rule in the Indian capital. High inflation and charges of corruption have riddled the Congress administration in the capital city-state as well as in the national scene.

The Congress party is however seen to be ahead when counting of votes began on Monday in the north-eastern Indian state of Mizoram.

The government’s welfare programs, including a rural employment guarantee scheme and a landmark food security act have been the mainstay of the ruling Congress party’s campaign in the assembly elections.

The Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has promised a transformation of the party to reverse its fortunes.

The local elections are seen as a test for the Congress and BJP ahead of the upcoming national elections in May, which will also elect the new prime minister of India.

 

Source: Agencies

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