India state polls: Common Man's party wins Delhi seats

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Aam Admi (Common Man's) Party is led by Arvind Kejriwal - a former civil servant

A surprise strong showing by a new anti-corruption party in India has helped to topple the ruling Congress party in Delhi assembly elections.

The leader of the Common Man's Party, Arvind Kejriwal, has defeated Delhi's long-serving Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit and taken her seat.

In Delhi, party supporters danced and waved brooms - the symbol of their party - in the air.

The Congress party has also lost control of Delhi's 70-seat assembly.

The party of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for most of its existence as an independent nation has been humiliated in these polls, in what is being seen as a wave of rebellion against its handling of the economy - and corruption, says the BBC's Andrew North in Delhi.

Mr Kejriwal defeated the three-time chief minister of Delhi in her own constituency, which she had held for 15 years, and his party came close to winning control of the city.

His party now controls nearly 40% of the Delhi assembly seats.

Addressing supporters after his victory, Mr Kejriwal said: "I'm fully confident that finally the country will win, people will win, democracy will come, and India will win."

The clear winner has been the opposition BJP - giving a major boost for its controversial candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, our correspondent says.

Early tallies indicate that the Hindu nationalist BJP is leading in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh as well as in Delhi, while it is in a close fight with Congress in the central Indian state of Chhatisgarh.

The vote is seen as a key test for the two main parties, the governing Congress and the opposition BJP, ahead of next year's general elections.

But these results underline the scale of the challenge the Congress party faces in hanging on to power, our correspondent adds.

The Aam Admi (Common Man's) Party was born out of a strong anti-corruption movement that swept India two years ago.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.