Riot police broke up an anti-corruption hunger strike led by India's most famous guru in an overnight night raid in New Delhi, giving fresh impetus to the nation's Hindu nationalist opposition to target the federal government for its handling of graft.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared set for a second term as his Congress party and its allies scored a decisive lead over their opponents on Saturday in a vote count after the country's monthlong general elections.
Indians are voting in their tens of millions in a monthlong general election that creates huge logistical issues in the world's largest democracy. The first round of polling was held on April 16. There are a further five voting phases before the final count is due on May 16.
Indians turned out in steady numbers Thursday to pick a new federal government in a mammoth month-long general election. But suspected Maoist insurgents marred the balloting in several areas with deadly attacks.
India's widely awaited move to open up its $300 billion consumer market to overseas retailers seems to have hit a speed bump, which regional experts say could bring more scrutiny of Wal-Mart's move into the world's second-most populous country.
Coalition supporters of India's Congress Party have unanimously agreed to back Sonia Gandhi in her bid to become prime minister of a multi-party government, Congress Party leader Manmohan Singh told reporters.
Italian-born Sonia Gandhi has won broad political support to become India's next prime minister, but stock and currency markets fell at the prospect of her governing in coalition with left-wing parties.