As the trends came in, pointing to another tenure of Modi as prime minister, celebrations broke out in the BJP’s party offices across the country with people dancing to the sounds of drums and distributing sweets. Modi himself won from Varanasi with a margin of over 3.6 lakh votes while party president Amit Shah won from Gandhinagar in their home state of Gujarat by over 4 lakh votes. Markets cheered the trends, as the benchmark BSE Sensex touched 40,000 for the first time and NSE Nifty breached the 12,000 level. The rupee appreciated 14 paise to 69.51 against the US dollar trade. The BJP, which is now tantalisingly close to the 300 mark in Lok Sabha, had alone won 282 seats in the last election.
The results are a ringing endorsement of Modi’s popularity, his government’s achievements in the last five years and his campaign, which centred around national security, nationalism and Hindutva. He also relentlessly attacked the Congress Party for what he called its dynastic legacy, and blamed it for the country’s woes. The opposition had criticised the BJP campaign as divisive and polarising. Still, the trend shows that the Modi wave and the party’s brilliant election management swept across geographies, caste lines, age, gender and economic status.
In the politically critical state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine had posed a stiff challenge, the BJP was leading in 59 of the 80 seats at stake. The SP was ahead in seven and BSP in 13. Although the BJP had won 71 seats in the last elections, the performance is much better than what many exit polls had forecast. The Congress Party was ahead only in one seat in Uttar Pradesh. Even, Congress President Rahul Gandhi was trailing BJP’s Smriti Irani in Amethi by nearly 9,000 votes but was clearly ahead in Wayanad in Kerala with a lead of more than 1 lakh votes.
The Modi wave not only swept through the Hindi heartland and Gujarat, as was expected, but also rippled through West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Only Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh appeared untouched. Even in Telangana, where it was expected to fare poorly, the BJP was ahead in four seats, the same as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti. The Lok Sabha trends were staggering for BJP in the Hindi-speaking states, including those where Congress had won in the recent Assembly elections: in Madhya Pradesh, BJP was ahead in 28 out of 29 seats with a vote percentage of nearly 60; in Rajasthan it was leading in all but one of 25 seats; similarly in Chattisgarh, BJP was ahead in nine compared to Congress’ 2 seats. Haryana also is expected to send nine BJP MPs out of 10.
In Odisha, the BJP made huge gains, forging ahead in six of the 21 seats while the Biju Janata Dal was ahead in 15. In 2014, the BJD had won 20 seats and BJP took one. Odisha also held simultaneous Assembly polls, in which the BJD is set to return to power, indicating that the voters chose smartly, opting for the status quo in both state and centre. BJP and its ally Janata Dal (United) were ahead in 16 seats each in Bihar out of 40 at stake.
The Trinamool Congress Party was leading in 22 of 42 seats of West Bengal while BJP was ahead in 19, up from two it held in 2014. The Left was wiped out in the state, once its citadel. The DMK was ahead in 20 seats in Tamil Nadu while the AIADMK was leading in only two. In Kerala, the Congress-led UDF was ahead in 18 out of 20 seats.
The trends of the ruling party’s leads were in sync with the exit polls, most of which predicted that the NDA would be on course to retain power for a second term. In 2014, the BJP won 282 seats, leaving the Congress with an all-time low of 44 seats against the 206 it won in 2009.(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections=News18)