Modi storms to power; gets absolute majority for BJP
Riding a strong anti-Congress wave, the 63-year-old Gujarat Chief Minister produced an astounding win for the BJP which attained a strong pan-India presence as never before.
NDA which comprises BJP and 24 smaller parties, scored a facile victory exceeding its own expectations as did the BJP which touched 282 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha to become the first party in 30 years to get a majority on its own after Rajiv Gandhi's massive score of 417 seats in 1984.
Modi, who pledged to take everyone along in a victory speech, will arrive here tomorrow and is expected to be sworn in as India's 16th Prime Minister sometime next week.
Nominees of some of his allies will find a place in the Modi cabinet which will be dominated by BJP.
A strong showing in the Hindi heartland, consisting of UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand where the BJP won as many as 190 out of 225 seats led to the rout of not only the Congress but regional players such as SP, BSP, JD(U) and RJD.
BJP also swept Modi's home state of Gujarat and did exceedingly well in the crucial state of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Assam.
In the outgoing Lok Sabha, BJP had 116 members on a national voteshare of 18.8 per cent while Congress had 206 members with a voteshare of 28.55 per cent. In the current elections, BJP got a voteshare of 31.4 per cent against Congress' 19.5 per cent.
This time, Congress was virtually decimated as it bagged only 44 seats, its lowest tally ever. Party president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi accepted responsibility for the defeat.
Riding the Modi wave, BJP has come a long way from a party of two Lok Sabha members in 1984. Even at the height of the popularity of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it could manage to get only 182 in 1998 and 1999, on the back of Ayodhya movement.
The Congress found it difficult to cross the double digit mark in most of the states as BJP swept Gujarat (26), Rajasthan (25), Delhi (7), Uttarakhand (5), Himachal Pradesh (4) and Goa (2).
BJP also nearly swept the crucial heartland state of Uttar Pradesh where it bagged 16 seats and was ahead in 55 of the total 80 seats. Its ally Apna Dal was leading in two seats. All the other seats were won by two political families.
Only regional parties AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and BJD were able to stymie the saffron march in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha, respectively.
AIADMK had won five seats and was leading in 32, while TMC had won 12 and was ahead in 22. BJD was set for a near sweep as it was leading in 19 of 21 seats.