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Indian Prime Minister Modi’s Party Scores Landslide Victory in Gujarat State Elections | CNN

New Delhi

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide victory in elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Thursday, in a boost for the leader and his Hindu nationalist party ahead of the 2024 general election. .

The BJP won 156 of the 182 total seats in Gujarat’s state assembly following the vote earlier this month, marking the party’s best performance in the state, a longtime BJP stronghold.

The main opposition Indian National Congress won 17 seats, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won five.

The election, and the margin of victory, in the state of more than 60 million people has been closely watched as a test of Modi’s popularity ahead of India’s upcoming general election, when he is expected to seek a third mandate.

In a comment posted on Twitter on Thursday night, the Prime Minister thanked the people of Gujarat and said he was “filled with a lot of emotions” to see the results.

“People blessed the development policy and at the same time expressed their wish that this momentum continue at a higher pace,” Modi wrote.

In another state election in the northern region of Himachal Pradesh, the Congress won 40 of the 68 total assembly seats and will now form a government. The BJP won 25 seats and three went to independent candidates, with state results of around 6 million also announced on Thursday.

Despite what critics say are economic headwinds and growing religious intolerance in India under Modi, he maintains strong support among the country’s Hindu majority.

He campaigned extensively in the run-up to elections in Gujarat, where the BJP has ruled for more than a quarter of a century. Modi led the state as prime minister for over a decade before coming to power as prime minister in 2014.

Modi was prime minister during the 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots in the state, which killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims.

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