India has imposed direct federal rule on the politically crucial state of Bihar, after feuding political parties failed to forge a majority government following assembly elections.
The state has been ruled by the Rashtriya Janata Dal, or the RJD, since 1990, but the regional party lost its majority in the 243-seat legislature in last month's polls. Its main rival, an alliance that includes the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, also fell short of a simple majority. Both groups tried to woo a smaller party to join them, but failed.
Reports from India say the Bihar crisis can cause political instability in the government in New Delhi if the RJD, with its 24 members in the national parliament, pulls out of the federal coalition government.