Modi’s party, allies win vote in India’s key Bihar state

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India’s ruling party and its allies have won a key state election seen as a barometer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his regional ally Janata Dal United won 125 seats of Bihar state’s 243-seat legislature, India’s election commission website showed on Wednesday. A coalition of more than three political parties opposed to the incumbent alliance was trailing with 110 seats.

The counting process took much longer than usual as more electronic voting machines were deployed to avoid crowding in polling centres in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

“Democracy has once again won in Bihar with the blessings of the people,” Modi said in a tweet.