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Friday, April 12, 2024  
04 Shawwal 1445  

India’s opposition Congress ‘set to win’ Karnataka state poll defeating ruling BJP

The election is the first of five crucial state polls
People wait in a queue to cast their vote at a polling station during Karnataka state assembly election in Bengaluru, India, May 10, 2023. REUTERS
People wait in a queue to cast their vote at a polling station during Karnataka state assembly election in Bengaluru, India, May 10, 2023. REUTERS

NEW DELHI: India’s main opposition Congress party was set to win elections on Saturday in the southern state of Karnataka defeating the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), TV channels said, a big boost ahead of national elections due next year.

The election is the first of five crucial state polls this year that are seen as setting the tone for parliamentary elections due in April and May 2024.

It is also the first big electoral face-off between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP and Congress since Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was convicted of defamation in March and as a result lost his parliament seat.

The victory will be only the second state win for the embattled Congress in more than four years.

Karnataka, which was ruled by BJP, voted on Wednesday and votes were counted on Saturday.

Congress is set to win around 130 seats against about 65 for BJP, the TV channels showed as vote counting progressed. A party needs 113 seats to win a simple majority of the 224 in the state legislature.

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