9 Dec 2013

Congress suffers defeat in India state elections

10:47 am on 9 December 2013

India's governing Congress party has suffered a major defeat in state elections, just a few months before it is due to face general elections.

Congress, led by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, has led the national government for two terms and is facing widespread voter anger over corruption, slowing growth and stubborn inflation.

The clear winner in the state elections has been the opposition BJP - giving a major boost for Narendra Modi, its controversial candidate for prime minister, the BBC reports.

Early tallies indicate that the Hindu nationalist BJP is leading in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh as well as in Delhi, while it is in a close fight with Congress in the central Indian state of Chhatisgarh.

The Congress party has also lost control of Delhi's 70-seat assembly.

The leader of the Common Man's Party, Arvind Kejriwal, has defeated Delhi's long-serving Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit and taken her seat. His party now controls nearly 40% of the Delhi assembly seats.

National elections are due by May.