In a major setback, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced a major defeat in Jharkhand polls as Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conceded defeat in the eastern state of Jharkhand, with an alliance of the main opposition Congress party and a regional bloc slated to take control of the resource-rich province. The Congress and its allies have won, or are leading, in 46 of the 81 seats, while the BJP is on course to take 25.
Including Jharkhand, the Congress is now in power in Punjab, Puducherry, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The pattern of BJP’s poll decline began with the loss in three Hindi heartland states last December when the Congress dethroned the incumbents in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
The five-phase elections in the state were held between Nov. 30 and Dec. 20 as the country sees nationwide protests against a controversial citizenship law in last 12 days, which claimed the lives of more than 26 people across the country.
The Citizenship Amendment Act passed by the Indian parliament mid-December grants citizenship to six minorities, except Muslims, from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh — all Muslim-majority nations in South Asia. Muslim leaders believe the new law will be linked to a nationwide exercise where every citizen would be asked to prove Indian citizenship.
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