12/09/2008, 00.00
INDIA
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Congress wins in three states out of five. BJP defeated in elections

The party of prime minister Manmohan Singh keeps control of the state of Delhi, and wins Rajasthan and Mizoram. The BJP keeps Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, but falls to 142 seats, down from 173 in 2003.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The Congress Party (CP) has held its ground, and even made some progress. The results of the elections in the state of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram mark a victory for the governing party over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The CP (in the photo, a demonstration by its supporters) has won control over three out of five states called to the ballot box. It keeps Delhi, takes Rajasthan from the BJP, and Mizoram from the Mizo National Front (MNF).

The attacks in Mumbai, which came before the voting, raised the stakes of an election in which defeat for the Congress Party would have been interpreted as a further sign of distrust toward the government of New Delhi. The BJP had positioned its campaign as a testing ground for the government led by the CP, and was hoping for more than one defeat for the party of prime minister Manmohan Singh. The stated aim was an historic victory in Delhi, but the parliament there has remained in the hands of the Congress Party. After the tallying of the votes, the BJP called an extraordinary meeting to analyze its defeat.

In the state of Delhi, the party of the prime minister retains power, taking 42 out of 70 seats in parliament: five fewer than in 2003. The BJP remains in the opposition, even though it increased its number of seats: from 25 years ago to 23 today.

But there has been a reversal of the situation in Rajasthan: there, the BJP has ceded power to the CP. The Congress Party, in fact, went from 56 seats in 2003 to 96 today; the Bharatiya Janata Party suffered a setback, going from 120 to 78 seats.

The Hindu nationalist party won only in the state of Chhattisgarh, taking 50 out of the 90 seats in parliament, maintaining the same results as in 2003. Commentators are interpreting this as a personal success for the local leader of the BJP, Raman Singh, and confirmation of the sluggishness of the CP, although it obtained one seat more at the expense of the smaller parties.

In Madhya Pradesh, the Hindu party lost ground, but remains in control: it goes from 173 to 142 seats, while the Congress Part grows from 38 to 71. It's a different story for Mizoram, where the CP defeated the ruling government of the Mizo National Front, which retained only 3 of its seats after the voting on December 2, down from 21 in 2003.

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