Indian leader's party wins by landslide in key state elections

It can gloat about Punjab, which it has swept, and possibly about Manipur and Goa where it might be able to form governments.

BJP's victory in UP would have significant ramifications not only for the composition of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament, but also for the next parliamentary elections in 2019 which the party hopes to win for a second successive tenure in power in India. The party already has an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha.

Even winning India's tiniest state has been a big deal for the Congress to be effective in the 2017 assembly elections to five states, and therein lied the importance of Faleiro.

Even so, Modi's political problems won't vanish overnight if the BJP wins control of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly.

Shah has been seen as the architect of the party's outreach to various social groups, mostly OBCs and sections of Dalits, and some experts believed that it might have antagonised its core support base and also old loyalists, who were passed over by him in distribution of tickets.

He said the result in UP and Uttarakhand going so overwhelmingly in favour of his party was "unexpected".

"The BJP won elections in UP because of selling dreams and the reality will come soon when they fail in delivering these dreams", Vadakkan told IANS. At many of his rallies, Modi said, "Under the Congress, it was always about how much money has gone in scams like 2G, coal block allocation and AgustaWestland". The BJP emerged as the big victor of the day, with massive victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Modi led campaigns against the rival Samajwadi and Bahujan Samaj parties, promising to bring growth and modernization and to sniff out corruption. Her allegation is unlikely to be taken seriously. "These results will set Indian politics in a new direction", he said at a press conference at the party's New Delhi headquarters. Working on this strategy, the BJP allocated around 150 seats to non-Yadav OBCs in UP. The BSP's tally was reduced to a paltry 19 seats in the 403-seat assembly. But its staggering demographic weight makes it the most politically consequential state in India's democracy. The BJP showing is the vote for politics of performance and proves the people of India are with Prime Minister Modi, he said.

On the campaign trail, too, Modi played up religious divisions by asking why the state government ensured there were no power cuts in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan but not during the Hindu festival of Diwali. Punjab is the only state where BJP is shown to be in the weakest position, as per the exit polls.

The nascent SP-Congress alliance crafted shortly before the elections this year was ahead in only 56 seats while Mayawati's BSP led in just 20 constituencies. "It is also clear that they did not like the alliance between Akhilesh (Yadav) and Rahul (Gandhi)". Talking about Punjab, he said "I thank people of Punjab for giving Akali Dal and BJP the opportunity to serve for 10 years & for the support we got in these polls".

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