Indian PM Narendra Modi has admitted defeat for his governing BJP in a key regional election in Bihar state.
The BJP was running against an alliance of parties linked to main opposition Congress party in the state assembly.
However, a spokesman for the Hindu-led nationalist party rejected suggestions the result for Bihar state assembly was a personal blow for Narendra Modi, saying the BJP “managed a creditable performance”.
Narendra Modi had been hoping a victory in Bihar would boost his party’s strength in India’s upper house of parliament, which made up of representatives of state legislatures and where he lacks a majority.
With votes still being counted, the anti-Modi alliance was ahead in 125 seats, compared with the BJP’s 79 seats, out of 238 where the trends were clear.
Bihar, in the north-west of India, is one of the country’s largest states, with a population of 100 million, and is also one of the poorest.