I.N.D.I.A. shines as BJP's '400 par' falls flat; all eyes on JD(U), TDP for the ride home

The exit polls, which came out on Saturday after the last vote of this election went to the ballot, predicted an 'unimaginable' victory to BJP-led NDA.
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 06:37 IST
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 06:37 IST

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As the nation waited with baited breath for the Lok Sabha election results, which was polled in seven phases over two months, starting from April 19, the exit polls, which came out on June 1 after the last phase of the poll ended, gave a clear victory for the BJP-led NDA. But on June 4, as the country followed the count, with all eyes on the counting centres across the country, the EVMs and ballots harboured surprises aplenty. In this special edition of DH Political Theatre, we bring to you all the headlines from the day of counting of votes that left heads spinning. Let's dig in right away.

Believe it or not! Exit polls throws up no 'surprises'

The exit polls, which came out on Saturday after the last vote of this election went to the ballot, predicted an 'unimaginable' victory to BJP-led NDA. With no anti-incumbency in sight, all the exit polls foretold a story of NDA's return to the power, while the Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc had nothing to hope for.

Almost all polls gave the BJP-led NDA more than 350 seats with a few predicting it crossing the two-third mark with an unprecedented 370 plus figures. While News24-Today’s Chanakya (400 +/-15) predicted a maximum of 415 seats for NDA, India TV-CNX's exit poll gave 401 seats to NDA while the minimum could be 371. I.N.D.I.A was predicted to win 109-139 by CNX. India Today-MyAxis India poll gave NDA 361-401 seats while I.N.D.I.A. 131-166 and others 8-20.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Credit: PTI Photos</p></div>

Credit: PTI Photos

Scene toh abhi baaki hai: D-day - Dharma is more important than any divine boon

After exit polls predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP-led NDA, the dawn of June 4 meant the onset of good tidings. But the day has sprung one surprise after another, from the Hindi heartland to the Southern state of Kerala, giving both the saffron party and the grand old party workers moments of joy and celebrations. Yet, BJP's '400 par' remained a distant dream with the Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc delivering a neck-and-neck fight across the country.

While the BJP-led NDA settled with 293 seats and the opposition I.N.D.I.A. managed 234, it set the course for Narendra Modi to become prime minister for a third consecutive term.

The day was witness to the NDA-led BJP sweating in many of its 'comfortable' seats, including Faizabad, the seat that houses Ayodhya - this time in more focus due to the Ram mandir consecration. This seat delivered a shocker to the saffron party, which was expecting to ride on the Ram mandir wave, where Samajwadi Party’s (SP’s) Awadhesh Prasad won by a margin of 54,567 votes.

Suresh Gopi - Thrissur - Kerala

Suresh Gopi - Thrissur - Kerala

Credit: Instagram/@sureshgopi

Lotus in Kerala a reality now

From the South, the region where the BJP was eyeing a big victory to add to its kitty, the DMK and its allies held onto their seats, leaving the saffron party empty-handed in Tamil Nadu, while Kerala's Thrissur presented the first ever poll victory to BJP in the state. Actor-turned politician Suresh Gopi 'snatched' the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat from the hands of both CPI(M) and Congress, delivering a blow to the ruling party and opposition in the state even as they shone in other seats.

In Kerala, the ruling Left-front was decimated to a mere one seat in Alathur, while the Congress, rallying behind Rahul Gandhi, secured 14 seats, leaving a lot for the LDF to think about on its election strategies and more.

(From Left) JD(U) Nitish Kumar; TDP's Chandrababu Naidu

(From Left) JD(U) Nitish Kumar; TDP's Chandrababu Naidu

Credit: PTI Images

Emerging Kingmakers - Bihar's JD(U) and Andhra Pradesh's TDP

And like every election, kingmakers emerge; and this time Bihar and Andhra Pradesh could be the difference in the formation of government. While Nitish Kumar's JD(U) secured 12 seats in Bihar, Chandrababu Naidu's TDP won 16 seats, presenting all the more conundrum for the BJP although both the parties are well part of the NDA for now.

Reports suggest that the BJP is in a huddle to court both the parties to its fold, but with the Congress also securing seats on par with the BJP, it is difficult to say which way these two could swing. Either way, it could well be these two regional parties deciding the fate of the country.

Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav also celebrated Holi with his supporters in Saifai, UP.

Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav also celebrated Holi with his supporters in Saifai, UP.

Credit: X/@yadavakhilesh

Akhilesh takes it back from BJP

Delivering a big blow to the BJP, the state from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an MP, Samajwadi Party (SP) corrected its electoral misfortune, securing 37 seats while BJP managed 33. SP even clinched the Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, despite Ram temple in Ayodhya being a talking point for the saffron party throughout the run-up to the election.

BJP's Smriti Irani also conceded defeat in the Amethi Lok Sabha seat as Congress' last-minute masterstroke Kishori Lal emerged the winner.

Narendra Modi held onto Varanasi seat for the third consecutive term by defeating Congress candidate Ajay Rai. The victory margin of Modi this time, however, is 1,52,513, which is less than his victory margins of 2019 and 2014.

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee

Credit: PTI Photo

West Bengal's Sandeshkhali pays no dividend to BJP

West Bengal's Sandeshkhali, which was caught in a political storm before the polls, favoured TMC's veteran Haji Nurul Islam who was leading with a margin of nearly two lakh votes.

The BJP, which was betting big on this seat to make a political statement have failed to spring any surprises, with the party's hope dashed in the state. Mamata, who decided to contest the polls alone, saw her party secure 29 seats.

 Suspended JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna

Suspended JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna

Credit: PTI Photo

Rape-accused Prajwal Revanna shown the door in Hassan

And in Karnataka, while both the BJP and the Congress had enough to cheer about, the latter had the last laugh in Hassan where rape-accused Prajwal Revanna lost to Congress’ Shreyas Patel. Prajwal lost by 40,000 votes allowing the Congress bag the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency after a gap of 25 years.

That's all from us for now, but we will be back with more shortly. Stay tuned to DH until then. Goodbye.

Exit Stage Left

DH Newsletters Team

Published 05 June 2024, 06:37 IST

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