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23 May, 2019 13:34

‘People gave their verdict’: India’s opposition leader Gandhi concedes defeat, congratulates Modi

‘People gave their verdict’: India’s opposition leader Gandhi concedes defeat, congratulates Modi

The leader of India’s biggest opposition party Rahul Gandhi has admitted defeat and congratulated Narendra Modi on his party’s victory in the national elections. He could now lose his own seat in the Gandhi family’s ‘bastion.’

“The people… have given their verdict,” the National Congress president told journalists at the party headquarters in Delhi as he congratulated Modi on his election victory. “I have to admit that it is the BJP which has won this time,” he added, referring to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which, together with its allies, is expected to get 337 out of the contested 542 seats in the lower house of the Indian parliament.

Earlier, Modi already declared his victory, vowing to build “a strong and inclusive India.” Modi’s cabinet ministers hailed the election results calling them “a landslide” and a “political tsunami.”

A three-time MP, Gandhi also had to concede defeat to a member of Modi’s BJP and the Textiles Minister Smriti Irani in the constituency of Amethi in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state, which has been the “bastion” of the National Congress and particularly of the Gandhi family for some four decades. “I hope she [Smriti Irani] would look after Amethi with love,” he said.

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Yet, according to the Indian media, Gandhi could still retain his seat in the parliament as he reportedly won in another constituency in southern India – a second place he decided to run from.

The National Congress is expected to get 96 seats in the parliament. Gandhi comes from a dynasty of political leaders as both his father and grandmother served as prime ministers while his mother was a longtime party leader.

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