A benchmark index for Indian markets closed 189 points lower on Tuesday as the Congress party which leads the United Progressive Alliance government at the centre fared poorly in assembly elections. The election debacle for the Congress sparked off fears of a weaker government that would not be able to push through key reforms and legislations. The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 17,336.64 points, closed at 17,173.29, down 189.58 points or 1.09 per cent from its previous close at 17,362.87 points. The Sensex had risen to an intra-day high of 17,691.96 points and fell to a low of 17,128.28 points. The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange ended at 5,222.4 points, down 57.95 points or 1.1 per cent. “The market is sensing that there can be difficulty in policy making going forward and also there can be slow down in reform process. In that fear, market had come under pressure since afternoon. However, we feel that this fall can offer good opportunity for investors to start investing,” said D. K. Aggarwal, chairman and managing director of SMC Investments and Advisors. Broader markets also closed in the red with the BSE 500 index slipping 1.06 per cent. The BSE midcap index was down 1.11 per cent, while the BSE smallcap index closed 1.29 per cent lower. Metal, power, capital goods and energy stocks were among the major losers while FMCG scrips gained. The market breadth was positive with 1,048 stocks advancing, 1,773 declining and 113 remaining unchanged._ Gainers on the Sensex included DLF, up 2.73 per cent at Rs.197.45; ITC, up 1.45 per cent at Rs.210; Infosys, up 1.41 per cent at Rs.2,849.05 and Maruti Suzuki, up 1.01 per cent at Rs.1,328.80. Major losers included Hindalco, down 5.75 per cent at Rs.131.85; Sterlite, down 5.44 per cent at Rs.113.85; RIL, down 2.68 per cent at Rs.776.50 and ICICI Bank, down 1.98 per cent at Rs.853.20.