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PM Imran Khan congratulates Narendra Modi on India election victory

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday congratulated his Indian counterpart and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi on his victory in the country’s elections.

In a message posted on his official Twitter account, the Pakistani prime minister said he was looking forward to working with Modi for “peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia”.

Modi claimed victory on Thursday in India’s general election, with his party headed for a landslide win to crush the Gandhi dynasty’s comeback hopes.

With around half the 600 million votes cast counted, Election Commission data showed Modi’s BJP winning 300 of India’s 543 elected lower house seats, surpassing its 2014 victory and crushing the opposition Congress party’s hopes of a comeback.

The BJP’s main rivals Congress were on just 49 seats, with Rahul Gandhi – the great-grandson, grandson and son of three premiers – in danger of a humiliating loss in the seat held by India’s once-mighty political dynasty for generations.

“Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!,” Modi tweeted as the outcome of the world´s biggest election became clear.

The preliminary count predicts a commanding majority in the lower house for the BJP and its allies, who are on course for almost 50 additional seats.

They will still lack a majority in the upper house, however, putting a brake on Modi’s legislative agenda.

Modi, a former cadre in the militaristic hardline Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and chief minister of Gujurat in 2002 when riots killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, is also seen as divisive.

Lynchings of Muslims and low-caste Dalits for eating beef and slaughtering and trading in cattle have risen, adding to anxiety among India’s 170-million-strong Muslim population.

Under Modi several cities with names rooted in India’s Islamic Mughal past have been re-named, while some school textbooks have been changed to downplay Muslims’ contributions to India.

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