BJP's Modi decimates Oppn; 350+ for NDA; Cong loses home turf Amethi; Lotus blooms in Bengal


New Delhi, Vox populi-the people have spoken.Bharatiya Janata Party headed for an absolute majority on its own in the 17th Lok Sabha as counting of votes in the marathon seven-phase elections progressed on Thursday evening. The BJP was leading in 288 parliamentary constituencies against the 48 of its nearest rival Indian National Congress which was unable to open its account in 21 states. All India Trinamool Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam were at third position in the new House of the People with 23 seats apiece while Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party with 22 was at the fourth slot. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, 'Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again. 'Thank you India! The faith placed in our alliance is humbling and gives us strength to work even harder to fulfil people's aspirations. I salute every BJP Karyakarta for their determination, perseverance & hard work. They went home to home, elaborating on our development agenda,' he added. The BJP’s landslide victory was also reflected in the Prime Minister's constituency, Varanasi, where he was on course to win by a margin of over four lakh votes. Congratulating Mr Modi for the BJP's victory, Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the party will continue to fight for its ideology. He said it was too early for an assessment of the causes of the Congress defeat and a stock taking would be conducted later. Mr Gandhi said he will address the media again after an analysis of the party's debacle. The stock market rose after the results. The Sensex settled at 38,811.39 points while the National Stock Exchange's Nifty at 11,657.05 points. Welcome Indian business diaspora welcomed the decision of the people and congratulated Mr Modi for a landslide victory. "Policies undertaken by the government have delivered fast economic growth, increased foreign investment and significantly eased the process of starting and doing business. With a big mandate comes big responsibility to meet the expectations of people across the nation from the new Government," Indian Chamber of Commerce president Rudra Chatterjee said. Assembly polls were also held in Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim. The BJP emerged victorious in Arunachal, Yuvajana Shramika Ryuthu Congress ousted Telegu Desam Party in Andhra, Biju Janata Dal retained Odisha. The picture was still not clear in Sikkim with Sikkim Democratic Front just one seat ahead of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha. Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Gujarat went completely into the kitty of the National Democratic Alliance which succeeded in making inroads in Mamata Banerjee's bastion Bengal. Most of the seats in BJP’s kitty came from North India—Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh—139 seats. The BJP did exceptionally well in west India—Gujarat and Maharashtra— where it notched up a tally of a half century. The saffron party could make a difference in east India too with—13 seats BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani congratulated his one-time lieutenant and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for steering the party to an 'unprecedented victory' in the elections. Down South In south India, regional parties again dominated the political spectrum but the BJP secured 29 seats. Among these 25 came from Karnataka while four from Telangana. Indian National Congress dominated Punjab under Captain Amarinder Singh leadership with eight seats. Also in the dumps were the alliances of Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh and Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar. Congress suffered a debacle in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh where the party won the recent assembly elections. The charisma of Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also seemed to have failed to enthuse voters in the Hindi heartland. Even the much-touted 'Nyay' scheme promising a payment of Rs 72,000 every year to the most indigent families failed to find favour with the targeted sections of the society. Congress' first family was in close contact with each other as both mother and sister visited party president Rahul Gandhi, who is trailing behind BJP's Smriti Irani in Gandhi-Nehru family's traditional seat Amethi. In the national Capital, Aam Aadmi Party, under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal suffered a rout against the BJP despite whopping 67:3 majority in the quasi-state’s assembly. As per the Supreme Court ruling, five VVPATs were randomly selected from each Assembly segment and would be matched with the EVM numbers. Voting in Vellore was cancelled by the Election Commission of India after widespread cash for votes was reported in the constituency. J&K In Anatnag parliamentary constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, the polling was held in three phases due to security reasons. However, it witnessed the lowest voter turnout of 20 per cent. The two-and-half month long Lok Sabha polls saw marathon rallies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took up the national security issue, ‘categorically’ mentioning strike by Indian Air Force in Pakistan’s Balakot. Moreover, in dying phases of LS campaign, the prime minister also underlined diplomatic achievement by India for declaring Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as “Global Terrorist” in United Nation Security Council. Mr Modi was countered by RaGa on unemployment, inflation, agarian distress, demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax and Rafale deal. Election Commission of India exercised its power for violation of Model Code of Conduction. It barred BSP chief Mayawati, UP CM Yogi Aditynath and Punjab Congress minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu for campaigning for 72-hour for hate speeches. The ECI also deferred the release till May 23 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's biopic. In Bengal, the ECI silenced the campaign by a day in last phase of LS polls due to violence in a roadshow of Amit Shah. Peers Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated PM Narendra Modi on his landslide victory in the general elections and evinced keenness to work with New Delhi to bring peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia. Russia's President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to NaMo,"welcoming the convincing victory of the BJP at the general parliamentary elections." President of the Peoples Republic of China, Xi Jinping, congratulated Mr Modi. He conveyed his message in telephonic conversation with the Indian leader. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasted no time in congratulating the leader who has brought Indo-Israeli ties to new heights. “Heartiest congratulations, my friend Narendra Modi, on your impressive victory in the elections,” Netanyahu wrote in a Hebrew tweet. The Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, however, was among the first who congratulated Mr Modi. “Congratulations on your victory and the people's re-endorsement of your leadership. Sri Lanka looks forward to continuing the warm and constructive relationship with India in the future," he said on his Twitter handle. Congratulating Mr Modi Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli said he looked forward to work closely with him. King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck congratulated Narendra Modi over telephone. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani also tweeted a congratulatory message to NaMo. National Conference was all set to win all three seats in Kashmir valley while BJP has taken a massive lead in Ladakh parliamentary constituency seat. Congress and Peoples Democratic Party failed to open their account in the state, where two Jammu seats – Jammu and Udhampur -- were retained by the BJP. However, the final results will be announced only after matching of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail. NC president Farooq Abdullah will be comfortably re-elected from Srinagar Parliamentary constituency as he is leading by a margin of over 70,000 votes from his nearest rival, PDP’s Aga Syed Mohsin. NC candidate Justice Hasnain Masoodi (Rtd) is also all set to win by a margin of about 8,000 voters from his nearest rival J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir in Anantnag constituency while former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party is a distant third. Another NC candidate Mohammad Akbar Lone would represent Baramulla Parliamentary constituency as he has taken a lead of about 30,000 votes from his nearest competitor – Raja Ajaz Ali of Peoples Conference (PC). In Ladakh Lok Sabha seat, BJP candidate Jamyang Tsering Namgyal will win as he has taken a lead of 11,000 votes from his nearest competitor. The vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of 'vikas' has put both seats of Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Kathua Lok Sabha seats into the kitty of the Bharatiya Janata Party. From Jammu-Poonch, sitting MP Jugal Kishore Sharma and from Kathua-Udhampur, Union MoS Dr Jitendra Singh, have retained their seats. They have termed it as Mr Modi’s victory. Hindi heartland In Uttar Pradesh, BJP was leading in 59 of the total 80 seats of the state. The Mahagathbandhan—Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal—was ahead in 18 seats (BSP-11, SP-6, RLD-0). Apna Dal, alliance partner of BJP, was ahead in two seats. BJP has garnered over 49 per cent of the votes so far while the BSP had got 19.7 per cent and the SP 18 per cent. Congress also got 6 per cent of votes. In Amethi, BJP candidate and Union minister Smriti Irani was over 24,000 votes ahead of the Congress president while in Sultanpur, Union minister Maneka Gandhi was trailing by over 12,000 votes against the BSP's Chandra Bhadra Singh. In Haryana, BJP candidates had established unassailable leads in nine parliamentary constituencies of the state. Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was trailing in Sonepat behind his nearest BJP rival Ramesh Chander Kaushik. BJP candidates were leading in all the four LS constituencies in Himachal Pradesh. Hamirpur-BJP candidate Anurag Thakur was leading against Congress candidate Ram Lal Thakur . In Punjab, the Congress party was leading in eight Lok Sabha seats at the end of the third round of counting. The Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janata Party alliance was ahead in four parliamentary constituencies while the Aam Aadmi Party was ahead on one Lok Sabha seat in the state. No trouble for Pragya BJP candidates notched up stupendous leads of approximately five lakh votes in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore and Hoshangabad constituencies even as saffron nominees are leaving rivals far behind in 24 of the state’s 29 parliamentary constituencies as per trends available following eight hours of counting. In the state capital, Ms Pragya Singh Thakur (BJP) is ahead of erstwhile chief minister Digvijaya Singh (Congress) since morning and the present margin is about 2.68 lakh. Congress General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia is trailing by 1.25 lakh behind saffron aspirant KP Yadav in Guna. Indore is witnessing Mr Shankar Lalwani (BJP) racing ahead of Mr Pankaj Sanghvi (Cong) by approximately 5.5 lakh. In Hoshangabad, Mr Uday Pratap Singh (BJP) has created a gap of about 5.34 lakh. The saving grace for the Congress is Chhindwara where Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul is leading by about 37,000 over Mr Nathan Shah (BJP). Lotus in Desert The BJP was leading on 24 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, while its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party was ahead in one and the Indian National Congress was trailing on all, as the general election results trickled in on Thursday. The BJP was leading in Jodhpur where Union Minister of State Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was ahead by 68,261 votes, leaving behind Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav. Union MoS Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Jaipur Rural was leading by 91,493 votes against Congress' Krishna Punia. Modi's Gujarat The ruling BJP was set to make a clean sweep in the home state of NaMo, as the trends show the largest party of the world, leading on all 26 seats in the state. BJP national president Amit Shah is leading by a margin of 555843 votes from Gandhinagar constituency, expected to mark a landslide victory over Congress candidate CJ Chavda. The BJP and it's alliance partner Shiv Sena is surging ahead with its candidates leading in 44 of the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra. The BJP was ahead in 24 seats and the Sena in 20, while the NCP was ahead in three and the All India Muslim-I-Musilmeen in one . Senior BJP leaders and Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Subhash Bhamre were leading in Nagpur and Dhule seats respectively. All Congress candidates, including former Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, state president Ashok Chavan and Mumbai unit chief Milind Deora, were trailing in their seats. In Maval, sitting Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne also established a comfortable lead of 1,12,634 votes over his NCP rival Parth Pawar, the grand nephew of former Union minister Sharad Pawar. In Mumbai-North, BJP’s Gopal Shetty established a lead of 94,267 votes over Congress’ nominee Urmila Matondkar. In Mumbai-North East, BJP’s Manoj Kotak got a lead of 1,04,882 votes over his NCP rival Sanjay Dina Patil. In Raver, BJP’s Raksha Khadse was leading by 92,398 votes over her Congress rival Ulhas Patil. Parrikar-void Goa BJP maintained lead in North Goa constituency while Congress in South Goa constituency.BJP was also leading in three assembly constituencies in Goa while Congress in one constituencies. However, official announcement of the results were awaited. Collapse In Bihar, NDA was heading towards a spectacular victory with convincing lead in 37 seats, while Grand Alliance collapsed like pack of cards as it led in only three . NDA, comprising BJP, Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party, was all set to register an impressive victory in Bihar.BJP and JD(U) were leading in 16 and 15 seats respectively in Bihar while LJP was ahead in six seats. BJP was leading in West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Madhubani, Araria, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Maharajganj, Saran, Ujiarpur, Begusarai, Patna Sahib, Ara, Buxar, Sasaram and Aurangabad. JD (U) is leading in Valmikinagar, Sitamarhi, Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Katihar, Purnea, Madhepura, Gopalganj, Siwan, Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger, Nalanda, Karakat and Gaya. LJP was leading in Jamui, Nawada, Khagaria, Hajipur, Vaishali and Samastipur. On the other hand, Rashtriya Janata Dal, part of grand alliance was leading in two seats--Patliputra and Jehanabad while Congress was leading in Kishanganj. Other parties appear to be scoring zero. In Jharkhand, BJP along with its ally All Jharkhand Students Union has continued to maintain a lead in the 12 Lok Sabha seats so far according to the trends available. Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Moarch were at one seat apiece. Biju's legacy The ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was heading for an absolute majority by leading over 115 of 146 Assembly seats and was set to assume power for a fifth consecutive term. Main opposition Congress had suffered a major jolt with the party relegated to third position and leading over only 8 seats while the BJP is leading over 21 seats. Both the CPI and CPM candidate is leading over one seat each in the state.In the Lok Sabha elections also the BJD was leading in 16 of 21 seats while the BJP is leading over five seats. Although the ruling BJD is heading for 115 seats against 117 seats it captured in the 2014 Assembly elections, the voting percentage of BJD has shown a marginal increase of 1.4 per cent from 43.4 per cent in 2014 to 44.85 per cent in 2019 elections. Inroads BJP has taken an unassailable lead in 19 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal.In the Assembly bypolls, the BJP was maintaining a steady lead in three seats out of six, which went to the byelection. Barring the city constituencies like Kolkata South, Kolkata North and Jadavpur, the BJP was making considerable forays into the Bengal hinterland. The ruling Trinamool Congress is leading in 22 seats, while the Congress in one.Left Front is yet to take lead in any constituency.The Trinamool Congress, however, is maintaining a status quo with around 45 per cent vote share, same as 2016 Assembly percentage of 45 per cent. In Arunachal Pradesh, the ruling BJP is leading in nine assembly and two Lok Sabha seats in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. In Meghalaya, former Union Minister and Congress candidate Vincent Pala and former Union Minister Agatha Sangma of National People’s Party were leading in Shillong and Tura parliamentary seats. The ruling BJP is set to put up its best-ever performance in Lok Sabha elections from Assam, with comfortable lead in eight seats and in close contest in another one, though its allies, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), failed to open their account once again. The prospects of Opposition Congress have been fluctuating, with one seat nearly assured so far, while All India United Democratic Front may also have to content itself with one victory. As per ECI reports at 1730 hours, BJP is leading in nine seats in the state, out of which it is expected to sail through in at least eight seats as the margins in these seats range from over 1 lakh to more than 3 lakh. In Arunachal Pradesh assembly election held simultaneous with Lok Sabha, BJP was moving towards absolute majority in 60 member house. The saffron brigade till now has registered victory in 10 Assembly seats, and is leading in 12 Assembly constituencies and two Lok Sabha seats in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. In the two Lok Sabha seats, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and BJP candidate Kiren Rijiju is leading by over 90000 votes in West Parliamentary seat, followed by Congress candidate Nabam Tuki. Surprise In Telangana, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti could not sweep the Lok Sabha election as it did in last year's Assembly polls. In the Assembly election, the TRS had bagged 88 of the 119 Assembly seats in the state. As per the latest trends, the TRS was leading in eight Lok Sabha seats where counting of votes polled in the April 11 election is now underway. The Congress and the BJP were ahead in four constituencies each, while the AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi established lead over his rivals in Hyderabad. The other Telugu state of Andhra Pradesh also sprang a surprise where the ruling Telegu Desam Party was routed as the Yuvajan Sharmik Ryuthu Congress Party had established an unassailable lead in both Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies. The YSRCP was leading in 151 of the 175 Assembly seats while the TDP was ahead in just 24 seats. Similarly,the YSRCP was leading in 24 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in that state while the TDP was leading in one constituency. The BJP, which was poised to achieve a near sweep in Karnataka, is set to win all the five Lok Sabha seats in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region as its candidates have established a clear majority against respective nearest Congress rival candidates including senior party leader M Mallikarjuna Kharge. Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) was all set to win 19 of 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala even as its chief Rahul Gandhi will romp home from Wayanad by more than four lakh votes. The ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) met with a major setback losing all of their strong holds and zeroed on a 'single' seat proving that the Sabarimala issue haunted their poll prospects in this election. BJP hopes to open the account this time in the state went up in smoke. Their prominent candidate and former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan could not win against former union minister and two-time parliamentarian Dr Shashi Tharoor. Indian Union Muslim League leaders and sitting MPs, PK Kunjhalikutty and ET Muhammad Basheer, also retained their seats with a huge margin of 2.6 lakh and about 1.87 lakh votes from Malappuram and Ponnani seats respectively. IUML was supported by UDF. In Alappuzha, Shanimol Osman of Congress is trailing against CPI-M MLA, A M Ariff (representing Aroor Assembly seat) by a margin of 8,805 votes. Side show In Tamil Nadu, ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu was on course to stay in power by a slender majority as its candidates established early leads in 11 of the 22 Assembly seats, bypolls for which were held in two phases. The bypolls were extremely crucial for the survival of the AIADMK government, which needed to win at least 10 seats to continue in power with a simple majority of 118 in the 234-member Assembly. The Opposition DMK was leading in the other 11 seats as per the trends available after the first two rounds of counting. The strength of AIADMK in the Assembly has come down to 114 from 136 (when it won in 2016)--three short of a simple majority--after the disqualification of 18 rebel MLAs owing allegiance to AMMK founder TV Dhinakaran, nephew of late leader J Jayalalithaa's close aide V K Sasikala. In Puducherry, Congress' V Vaithilingam was leading over his nearest rival K Narayanasamy of N R Congress, as the counting of the votes continued in the Union Territory. Mr Modi called Cabinet meeting on Friday. It is expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will submit his resignation to President Ramnath Kovind after the Cabinet meeting in order to form the next Government at the state.