India’s ruling party has suffered a setback in elections to five state assemblies, handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest loss since taking office in 2014, and just months before national elections. According to results announced by India’s Election Commission, the opposition Congress party was a clear winner in Chhattisgarh state and fell one seat short of a majority in both Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. With a regional party offering support, the Congress party is set to rule all three states, replacing Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
Voting in the three states was spread over the past two weeks. The setback to the BJP is expected to revive the political fortunes of the Congress party under Rahul Gandhi, the 48-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, who took over as party president from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, a year ago. He had campaigned extensively for his party in the three states.