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India opposition aims higher after beating 'Modi magic' in key state

Karnataka win gives Congress fresh momentum, but doubts persist

Rahul Gandhi, a senior leader of India's main opposition Congress party, arrives at party headquarters in New Delhi as the Karnataka poll results come in on May 13.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The otherwise beleaguered opposition Indian National Congress party's big win in a key southern state election earlier this month has raised a question: Was it a blip or a sign of things to come?

Congress dealt Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a decisive defeat in Karnataka, taking 135 of the 224 seats in the assembly. The BJP's tally plummeted to only 66, down from the 104 it won in the previous polls in 2018.

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