India's ruling BJP accepts defeat in crucial state election
Nov 8, Patna: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist party conceded defeat in the key state election in Bihar on Sunday.
By midday India's election commission website showed that a self-proclaimed "grand alliance" of parties opposed to Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party was leading in more than 140 seats, comfortably in sight of the 122 seats needed to control the state's 243-seat legislature.
Nitish Kumar, the incoming chief minister, said on Twitter on Sunday that Modi had called him and congratulated him on his party's victory in Bihar, one of India's largest and poorest states.
The election for control of Bihar was seen as a referendum on Modi's popularity, and he criss-crossed the state addressing dozens of high-profile rallies. No other BJP leaders were as visible through the election as Modi.
The Bihar election is also seen as a sign that many in India are alarmed by a rising tide of religious intolerance and violence in India since Modi's rightwing party came to power. Modi and his BJP have been criticized for not speaking out against religious attacks, saying their silence has encouraged Hindu hard-liners to justify the violence and assert Hindu superiority.
The Oslo Times