Ruling Congress Party Wins Indian Election

Governing Congress-led coalition headed for major victory
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2009 4:55 AM CDT
Congress party supporters celebrate with colored powder in front of the residence of their local party leader Mamata Banerjee in Calcutta today.   (AP Photo/Sucheta Das)
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(Newser) – India's main opposition party has conceded defeat to the ruling Congress-led alliance, CNN reports. The governing coalition—defying predictions the elections would end without a clear winner—was heading for a decisive victory as counting continued today. "We respect this mandate and accept it," said the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

"The results are pleasantly surprising," said the leader of the left-of-center Congress coalition. "We were not so confident at the beginning but now we are very confident and we will secure a majority." Rahul Gandhi of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty is credited with helping Congress make gains, and many speculate that he will soon replace Manmohan Singh as prime minister.
(Read more Indian National Congress stories.)