India’s ruling coalition, led by the National Congress Party, has won parliamentary elections, defeating its main rival, the Hindu nationalist Bharatija Janata Party (BJP), and is set to form the next government.
At the end of a month long voting process, the Bharatija Janata Party (BJP) conceded defeat in the general election to the incumbent Congress party. Arun Jaitley, general-secretary of the BJP, told a news conference on Saturday that it was “clear that the Congress-led alliance is coming in as the biggest group in parliament. We accept this verdict of the people.”
According to media repors, the Congress-led coalition, called the United Progressive Alliance, is projected to win about 253 seats, giving it the right to form a government.
The BJP’s National Democratic Alliance is well behind and expected to gain about 160 seats. Trailing the two main blocs is the so-called Third Front, made up of leftist and regional parties, which look headed to take about 60 seats.
No party wins absolute majority
No single party was expected to get an outright majority in parliament’s 545-seat Lok Sabha, or House of the People, but now with the BJP conceding, it is all but certain that incumbent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be returned to power.
Any party or coalition requires at least 272 seats in parliament to rule the country, meaning that Congress will have to secure support from smaller, regional parties to form the next government.
About 60 percent of India’s 714 million registered voters cast votes in the election process, which began April 16 and ended on May 13.
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