Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station

NPR
The Two-Way

India's Ruling Party Looks Headed For Defeat In Delhi Elections

384589828_2016795948.jpg

Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, leader Arvind Kejriwal gestures as he comes out of a polling station after casting his vote in New Delhi, India, on Saturday.
Altaf Qadri, AP
Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, leader Arvind Kejriwal gestures as he comes out of a polling station after casting his vote in New Delhi, India, on Saturday.

An upstart anti-corruption party appeared headed for victory in elections for a new government in the Indian capital, defeating the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

NPR's Julie McCarthy, reporting from New Delhi, tells our Newscast unit that if the exit polls prove correct, "it would be a humiliating loss ... for Modi."

The premier's "lavish campaign appearances made the race for Delhi's local assembly seem like a referendum on his own national leadership," she says.

Modi's Hindu-nationalist BJP swept to power in May, trouncing the Congress party that has ruled India for most of its nearly six decades as an independent nation.

Julie says final results, due Tuesday, would tell for sure whether Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party – or Common Man Party — would be given a chance to form the new government in Delhi.

The BJP had run Kiran Bedi, India's first high-ranking female police officer, as its candidate for the chief minister post in New Delhi.

The Associated Press says that the election "is viewed as the first tough political battle that Modi and the BJP have faced since coming to power."

Support comes from

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.