Emily Schmall Associated Press Published 6:58 AM EDT May 23, 2019 New Delhi – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party claimed it had won reelection with a commanding lead in Thursday’s vote count, while the stock market soared in anticipation of another five-year term for the pro-business Hindu nationalist leader. Election Commission data by midafternoon showed the Bharatiya Janata Party leading in contests for 299 out of 542 seats in the lower house of Parliament, with its main rival, the Indian National Congress, ahead in 50 contests. The data didn’t indicate what percentage of the estimated 600 million votes cast over the six-week election had been counted. Although the final tally was not expected until Thursday evening at the earliest, BJP President Amit Shah claimed a victory, crediting Modi’s “leadership.” Modi himself tweeted: “India wins yet again.” The election has been seen as a referendum on India’s 68-year-old prime minister, whose economic reforms have had mixed results but whose popularity as a social underdog in India’s highly stratified society has endured. Critics have said his Hindu-first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the country of 1.3 billion people. On the campaign trail, Modi presented himself as a self-made man with… Read full this story
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