Congress defeats PM Modi's BJP in key state poll

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party has suffered a major setback. Voters in Karnataka handed the Bharatiya Janata Party a crushing defeat in state assembly polls. The upset is seen as a bellwether for next year's general election.

The results announced Saturday saw the main opposition Congress party coast to victory.

The Election Commission gave Congress 135 out of 224 seats, while the BJP got just 66.

It was one of the ruling party's worst performances in recent years.

Karnataka was the BJP's only bastion in southern India, and the loss wipes out the party in the region.

Karnataka is the first of the five big states to hold ballots this year. Congress' victory gives the party a much-needed morale boost ahead of the national vote in 2024.