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BJP has won a strong majority in India’s largest state election

A supporter of India's ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) displays cut-outs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath as he celebrates after learning the initial poll results outside its party office in Lucknow, India, March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

According to the results of a state assembly vote on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party is expected to retain control of India’s most populous state with a large majority, providing insight into the national mood ahead of a general election in 2024.

The news: According to news outlets citing counting data, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition was leading in roughly 250 of the 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh, while the Election Commission stated the party was ahead in enough seats to retain power.

  • “Everyone will he surprised by the mandate because we are going to win with a thumping majority,” said Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi.
  • Uttar Pradesh is home to nearly a fifth of India’s population of 1.35 billion people and sends the most legislators to the national legislature of any state.
  • Despite the state and federal governments’ much-criticised handling of COVID-19, high unemployment, and anger over farm reforms that Modi cancelled last year after protests, the victory in the northern state has been achieved.

What’s important: The BJP has long anticipated that it will keep the state because of initiatives like free food for the poor during the pandemic, a crackdown on crime, and its popularity among the Hindu majority, which was bolstered by the erection of a temple on the site of a demolished mosque.

  • The Aam Aadmi Party, which governs the national capital area of Delhi, is on track to win a landslide victory in Punjab, while the races in Manipur, Goa, and Uttarakhand are tight but in the BJP’s favour.
  • Leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party have stated that they are prepared to take on Modi on a national level.
  • It has long been considered in Indian politics that no party or alliance can achieve a majority in parliament without capturing Uttar Pradesh and the neighbouring state of Bihar. In both, the BJP has been in power.
  • For decades, Uttar Pradesh was a stronghold of the main opposition Congress party, but in recent years, it has struggled to maintain its popularity.
  • A victory in Uttar Pradesh would be a vote of confidence for Yogi Adityanath, who was unexpectedly elected as the state’s chief minister five years ago and is seen as the BJP’s potential prime ministerial contender.
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