India’s Hindu nationalists defeat Congress in state election

Source: Associated Press

By ASHOK SHARMA

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party ended Congress party rule in a key southern state on Thursday, but its poll victory was marred by questions over who has the right to form the government.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party’s B.S. Yeddyurappa was sworn in as Karnataka state’s top elected official in Bangalore, a key technology hub of India. The BJP has been using rising Hindu nationalism in the country to ride to victory at the polls since Modi won elections in 2014.

State Gov. Vajubhai Vala invited the BJP on Wednesday to form the government after it emerged as the single largest party in the state legislature following the May 12 poll. It controls 104 seats in the 224-seat state legislature, short of the halfway mark.

The Congress party and the allied regional grouping Janata Dal (United), which together control 117 seats in the newly elected state legislature, maintain that they should be able to form a coalition government and have challenged the governor’s decision in court.

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