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Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures while addressing his supporters during an election campaign rally ahead of the national elections in Chanditala Hooghly District, West Bengal, India on Thursday. Photo: Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost an election in the key state of West Bengal on Sunday.

Why it matters: Modi has been criticized for his handling of the pandemic amid a widespread oxygen shortage, record daily cases and a surging death toll, with accusations that the real numbers are much higher.

By the numbers: The opposition All India Trinamool Congress won 213 of the 292 available seats in West Bengal and the Hindu nationalist BJP won the remaining 77, according to official figures, posted by the Election Commission of India Monday.

Of note: Modi predicted last month that the BJP would "win more than 200 seats in the state, which held voting over eight phases starting on March 27," Bloomberg notes.

The big picture: Opposition parties also won in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but the BJP retained power in the northeastern state of Assam and "gained the federally controlled territory of Puducherry, where it contested in alliance with a regional party," per Bloomberg.

What they're saying: Political commentator Arati Jerath told the New York Times the government is now "battling a public backlash on their mishandling of the COVID pandemic."

  • "It is bad news for Modi that three powerful regional chieftains are emerging from these elections," Jerath said.

Go deeper: Foreign aid pours into India as COVID-19 crisis worsens

Go deeper

May 2, 2021 - World

Foreign aid pours into India as COVID-19 crisis worsens

Medical supplies being loaded into a cargo plane headed to India, at Roissy airport, north of Paris. Photo: Lewis Joly / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Countries around the world are sending supplies and aid to India to help the country fight its COVID-19 outbreak, currently the world's worst.

Why it matters: Hospitals are running out of supplies, crematoriums are burning around the clock, and experts are increasingly concerned about the presence of a new variant in India.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."