Bharatiya Janata Party won, for the first time in the North-Eastern State of Assam, giving the party an entry and a strong foothold far outside its traditional strongholds.
A coalition led by the BJP, which captured 86 of the 126 seats in the legislature, according to official results announced Thursday, knocked the Congress party from one of its few remaining perches. Once a major political force, Congress’s slide has accelerated since Mr. Modi’s 2014 national election win.
A tweet posted on Mr. Modi’s account Thursday congratulated his party’s workers on what he called an “exceptional” victory. “This win is historic by all standards,” he said.
Taking control of Assam will help the BJP regain some momentum after losses in two state polls last year. BJP defeats in Delhi and Bihar raised questions about whether Mr. Modi’s popularity was waning and whether he would be able to push his economic agenda forward.
Against the Congress’ Tarun Gogoi, the BJP projected for chief minister Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who said when it became clear that his party had won, “We are committed to the people of Assam.”
“BJP will do everything possible to fulfil dreams & aspirations of the people of Assam & take the state’s development journey to new heights,” the Prime Minister said. “I thank the people of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry & Kerala for their support & assure them we will always work hard & serve them,” he said in another tweet.
The BJP—long considered a northern Indian party with an urban and upper-caste base—has launched a major effort to spread to parts of the country where it has so far only been a marginal player. Thursday’s results showed both its progress and challenges.
It is time for Congress to introspect to see where they went wrong if they ever want to make a comeback.