Saturday, May 16, 2009

Congress celebrates Indian election victory

Updated at: 1609 PST, Saturday, May 16, 2009

NEW DELHI: Supporters of India's Congress party set off firecrackers and danced in the street on Saturday as they celebrated election results that swept them back into power with unexpected ease.

Thousands of young and old supporters chanted "Jai Ho" (Victory), echoing the song from the hit film Slumdog Millionaire that was taken up by Congress as its campaign slogan.

The party was expected to pick up more than 190 seats in its own right -- Congress' best showing since 1991 -- and, along with its allies, was well ahead of the Hindu-nationalist opposition-led group.

"With our alliance partners, we will have a safe majority," Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said.

Activists were unanimous that it was the party's Italian-born president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, 38, who were responsible for the success.

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