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India's ruling Congress party suffers setback in state elections

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

India's ruling Congress party has suffered serious setbacks in key elections in Delhi and three other states held over the past month, according to interim results released Sunday.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party emerged victorious in Delhi as well as the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Congress suffered its greatest setback in Delhi, where it has ruled for the past 15 years. Of the 70 constituencies, the party won only eight seats. The Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, which was launched only last year, won a surprising 27 seats.

"This is a victory of the common man. From today's election results, we can conclude that people of Delhi have rejected tall political leaders and elected first timers because they represent the common people," said Aam Aadmi Party chief convenor Arvind Kejriwal.

"This is the first victory of our fight against corruption," he said.

Accepting defeat, Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice president and scion of the Nehru-Gandhi clan, said the Congress leadership, taking a lesson from the election results, will try to revamp the party.

"We will take a lesson from the Aam Aadmi Party and will try to bring the common man into active politics," he said.

Congress ruled in Delhi and Rajasthan prior to the elections, while the BJP took the helm in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The outcome of the Delhi state election is crucial for Congress and the BJP as it may set the trend for voting at the next general election, due in March or April next year.

==Kyodo

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/131208/indias-ruling-congress-party-suffers-setback-state-ele