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Congress routed in Indian election as opposition BJP prepares to take office


India

Congress routed in Indian election as opposition BJP prepares to take office

India’s ruling Congress party has conceded defeat with the opposition BJP led by Narendra Modi set for a landslide victory in the country’s general election.

The Hindu nationalist BJP could well clear 272-seat barrier for an outright majority, the first time a single party has ruled India for three decades.

Both business and India’s youth have backed the controversial Modi who has campaigned to reduce bureaucracy, create jobs and promote investment.

Many are uneasy with the prospect of Modi as prime minister.

Members of the Muslim minority fear a repeat of the massacre of hundreds of Muslims by Hindus in Gujarat during riots in 2002, when Modi was the states chief minister.

The scale of the victory, however suggests not only Hundus voted for Modi.

The outcome is a catastrophe for the Congress Party led by Rahul Gandhi, son of assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi and President of Congress Sonia Ghandi.

In a statement Congress said “We humbly accept the verdict and will perform the role assigned to us as a reasonable opposition.”

More than 550 million people voted in the nine-phase five-week long ballot.

The turnout at 66.38 percent broke previous records with the final results due later on Friday.

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