What Happened: State elections in five Indian states have resulted in significant gains for the Indian National Congress (INC), unseating incumbent governments by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in at least two states, the BBC reported Dec. 11.
Why It Matters: If India's Congress Party can translate its electoral success on the state level into significant gains in the 2019 parliamentary elections, the likelihood of a coalition government in New Delhi would increase. The return of a coalition government would, in turn, limit India's ability to pass key legislation needed to drive the country's industrialization.
Background: The BJP won the 2014 election by securing 282 seats, dealing a significant loss to the incumbent INC, which picked up 44 seats — its worst-ever performance. The BJP's majority in the Lok Sabha also ended an extended period of minority governments, which had been a hallmark of Indian politics since the coalition era began in 1989.
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