Elections Results 2019: Grand Alliance fails as BJP sweeps away the country

Updated: May 23, 2019, 23:02 IST | mid-day online desk |

With the elections establishing the 68-year-old Modi as the most popular leader in decades, the partial vote count released by the Election Commission showed that BJP will surpass its 2014 performance, and likely cross 300 seats

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party towards a super-sized victory for a second term in office, as his message of nationalism, security, Hindu pride and a New India was wholeheartedly embraced by voters across large swathes of the country.

With the elections establishing the 68-year-old Modi as the most popular leader in decades, the partial vote count released by the Election Commission showed that BJP will surpass its 2014 performance, and likely cross 300 seats.

Until 6 p.m., the BJP had won 26 seats and was leading in 278 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats that went to polls in seven phases, demolishing the combined opposition with the Congress Party stuck with seven victories and a lead in 43 seats, according to the trends.

(BJP) in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday retained all the four Lok Sabha seats in the state as its candidates won by a record huge margins, election officials said.

Hamirpur sitting MP Anurag Thakur, Kangra candidate Kishan Kapoor, Shimla candidate Suresh Kashyap and Mandi sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma won their seats by defeating their nearest Congress rivals.

The main contest in the state was between the Congress and the BJP.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur thanked all the voters for the landslide victory of the party.

He told reporters here that the victory confirms that people have expressed faith and confidence in the programmes and policies of his government.

For the former chief of the national cricket body, Anurag Thakur, this was the fourth consecutive victory. He won by 3.87 lakh votes against Congress legislator Ram Lal Thakur.

From Kangra, the largest Lok Sabha constituency in the state in terms of voters, the BJP had fielded Cabinet Minister Kishan Kapoor, 68, after dropping veteran leader Shanta Kumar, against two-time Congress legislator Pawan Kajal, 44.

Kapoor defeated Kajal by state's highest margin of more than 4.77 lakh votes.

In the Shimla (reserved) seat, it was an ex-serviceman versus an ex-serviceman. Retired Colonel Dhani Ram Shandil, 78, who was the Congress candidate, lost by over 3.27 lakh votes to BJP nominee and former Indian Air Force (IAF) officer Suresh Kashyap, 48.

Sitting BJP MP and the Chief Minister's confidante, Ram Swaroop Sharma, won the seat for a second term from Mandi. He was contesting against Congress greenhorn Ashray Sharma, who is the grandson of former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram.

Sharma retained the seat by a margin of more than 4.05 lakh votes.

Sukh Ram, a Congress veteran, had joined the BJP just before the Assembly elections, but defected back after his grandson was denied a ticket.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the parliamentary elections, while the Congress has lost, said the six-time Chief Minister and Congress leader Virbhadra Singh.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election Results 2019 Live Update: India has united to elect us, says PM Modi

"We have lost, Modi has won," he told a news channel here.

Congratulating Modi for winning a majority of seats in the country, Singh said it was time for his party to introspect.

Forty-five candidates, including a lone woman, were in the fray for the four seats.

With the state's electorate in the Lok Sabha polls traditionally favouring the party at the helm, these elections were being seen as a referendum on the state's 17-month-old Jai Ram Thakur government.

A total of 38,01,793 voters -- 72.25 per cent of 52,62,126 eligible ones -- exercised their franchise in a single phase on May 19 .

The BJP wrested the state from the Congress in December 2017, winning 44 seats in the 68-member Assembly. The Congress won 21 seats, Independents took two and the Communist Party of India-Marxist won one seat.

The Grand Alliance of opposition parties seems to have failed in the Lok Sabha elections Jharkhand if the counting trends and margins are any indication.

BJP is leading in 11 seats and its ally the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) in one seat. Both the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) are leading in one seat each.

The formal result declarations are delayed owing to the counting of VVPATs.

The BJP has registered a convincing lead in seven seats, and is locked in a tough fight in two constituencies -Khuti and Lohardagga.

Union Minister Jayant Sinha taken a big lead of over 388,461 votes over his rival Congress candidate Gopal Sahu.

Two former Chief Minister are likely to lose the polls, while a third one is struggling. JMM president Shibu Soren is trailing by over 32,651 votes from the BJP candidate Sunil Soren. Unconfirmed reports here say that Soren has lost the poll by over 42000 votes.

In Koderma, the BJP candidate Annapurna Devi has registered a lead of 447,099 votes over Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-P) President and former Chief Minister Babulala Marandi.

Also Read: Elections Results 2019: PM Modi retains Varanasi seat with 4.80 Lakh margin

Former Chief Minister Arjun Munda and the BJP's Khuti candidate has built a lead of 1,298 votes over Congress candidate Kalicharan Munda.

In Ranchi, BJP candidate Sanjay Seth has established a lead of 2,69,951 votes over Congress candidate Subodhkant Sahay.

In Lohardagga, Union Minister Sudarsan Bhagat of the BJP is locked in a tough fight against Congress candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat.

The BJP has also registered a good leads in the Palamau, Chatra, Godda and Dhanbad seats. AJSU has taken a convincing lead of more than 2,47,000 votes in Giridih.

The four parties - JMM, Congress, RJD and JVM-P had formed a Grand Alliance in Jharkhand to taken onthe BJP. The alliance seems to have not worked and JMM is set to lose its traditional Dumka seat.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has thanked the voters for reposing their faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"This is history. Under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah development and national security became election issues and we won the election", he said.

The BJP made stunning inroads in Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal, with the trends of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday showing a virtual saffron sweep in the state's northern parts as also the western tribal heartland while Chief Ninister Mamata Banerjee's party managed to hold on to its ground in and around Kolkata and a major chunk of the south Bengal.

After close to nine hours of counting, the saffron party was leading in 18 of the 42 seats in the state, up from only two in 2014, while the Trinamool was ahead in 23 seats, 11 down from 34 which it had won in the last Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress became more marginalised leading in only one seat, while for the first time after independence, the Left failed to open its account in the state, as the Trinamool and the BJP engaged in a see-saw battle in many of the seats.

A saffron storm swept the entire northern West Bengal including the Darjeeling hills notwithstanding Trinamool's attempt to forge alliance with a faction of the dominant hill outfit Gorkha Janamukti Morcha.

The BJP also managed to cut deep into West Bengal's tribal belt by going ahead in Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, Bishnupur and Medinipur seats with substantial margins.

The Trinamool, however, seems to be retaining its hold over its bastion in Kolkata, Howrah, East Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas districts.

In Darjeeling, that simmered with the statehood agitation of Gorkhaland in 2017, BJP candidate Raju Bista is leading over his nearest rival, former Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai of Trinamool Congress by a mammoth 3.5 lakh votes.

In Alipurduar, bordering Bhutan, saffron party's John Barla was ahead of Trinamool's Dashrath Tirkey by over two lakh votes.

BJP candidate and Trinamool turncoat Nisith Pramanik was leading over Trinamool's Paresh Chandra Adhikari by more than 50,000 votes.

Another north Bengal constituency Jalpaiguri was also painted in saffron as BJP's little-known leader Jayanta Kumar Roy - a doctor - was leading over Trinamool's Bijoy Chandra Barman by 1.37 lakh votes.

The real surprise came from Muslim-dominated Malda, a traditional Congress bastion, where BJP candidates were ahead in both Malda North and Malda South seats with slender margin.

In Raiganj, where two BJP youth activists were allegedly shot dead by police during an agitation demanding science teachers at Daribhit High School last year, BJP candidate Debasree Chaudhuri was leading. Sitting MP Mohammad Salim of the CPI-M was in the third spot.

In Asanol, Union Minister Babul Supriyo was on the verge of victory over his Trinamool rival and yesteryears actress Moon Moon Sen, while his ministerial colleague S.S. Ahluwalia was in a neck and neck contest with Mamtaz Sanghamita of the Trinamool in Bardhaman-Durgapur.

In Bengal's tribal heartland and Junglemahal, once a hotbed of Maoist insurgency, the saffron flag fluttered high as BJP candidates led over many a stalwart of the state's ruling party.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh has opened up a comfortable 87,000 plus lead over former state minister and Trinamool candidate Manas Bhunia in Medinipur.

BJP's Subhas Sarkar was leading over veteran Trinamool leader and state minister Subrata Mukherjee in Bankura by over a lakh votes while the saffron party's Kunar Hembram was ahead of Trinamool's Birbaha Soren in Jhargram.

In south Bengal's Hooghly constituency, West Bengal BJP's women wing president Locket Chatterjee was leading over Trinamool's Ratna De Nag by 72,000 votes.

Trinamool, howeverm performed handsomely in the four constituencies in Kolkata and Howrah.

Its Kolkata South candidate Mala Roy was leading over BJP candidate and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's grand nephew Chandra Kumar Bose by 1.5 lakh votes while its Kolkata North candidate Sudip Banerjee was ahead of BJP heavyweight Rahul Sinha.

The Trinamool candidates had left behind their BJP rivals in both Howrah and Uluberia constituencies in Howrah district.

Its actress-turned-candidates Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty were also leading in the Basirhat and Jadavpur constituencies, respectively.

Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee was on his way to a handsome victory as he was already ahead of his nearest rival BJP's Nilanjan Roy by over three lakh votes in Diamond Harbour.

The state, which went to polls in seven phases, witnessed the most bitter electioneering between the TMC and the BJP and was marred by large scale violence.

In the 2014 elections, the Trinamool had increased its tally by 15 seats over the 2009 poll results by wresting seats from the Left Front.

The BJP this time went all out to make electoral gains in the state, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself holding several rallies.

Party chief Amit Shah also addressed many public meetings besides holding road shows in the state.

The Congress led in one constituency while the Left, which had ruled the state for decades, faced a washout.

In what could be described as a mixed bag of results, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa won one Lok Sabha seat, but lost the other amid a saffron tsunami in the country on Thursday.

However, the BJP won three Assembly by-elections in the state, while losing the prestigious Panaji Assembly seat, which was held by the ruling party since 1994.

Victory in three Assembly seats has now put the BJP-led coalition government in the state on a firm footing, according to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik won the North Goa Lok Sabha seat by over 62,000 votes (provisional) against his nearest Congress rival Girish Chodankar who polled 1,50,466 votes (provisional).

Naik, a four-time MP, battled both anti-incumbency as well as a potential backlash from the aggrieved sections of Goa's banned mining belt, but managed to ride the proverbial Modi wave to victory.

"The victory exposes the Opposition's negative campaign. The people of North Goa are with Modiji," Naik said.

In the South Goa Lok Sabha constituency, sitting BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar conceded defeat even before the final votes could be tallied.

While Sawaikar polled 1,89,798 votes (provisional), Congress' Francisco Sardinha, a former Chief Minister of Goa, got 1,99,688 votes (provisional).

"I accept my defeat. I thank everyone for the support and co-operation shown to me throughout my tenure as an MP," Sawaikar said.

The BJP performed creditably in the Assembly by-elections, winning three of the four seats. The significant loss came in the Panaji Assembly seat, which was held by the BJP since 1994, largely represented by the late Manohar Parrikar. "It is time to put Panaji on the development track after 25 years of inefficiency," said Congress' Atanasio Monserrate after he beat the BJP's Sidharth Kuncalienkar by 1,758 votes.

Meanwhile, Chodankar accepted responsibility for Congress' defeat in North Goa and in the three Assembly by-elections but maintained that by winning the prestigious Panaji Assembly seat, the Congress had "wrested the heart" of Goa from the BJP.

"As the state President, I accept moral responsibility for the Congress' losses... But Panaji is the heart of BJP and Goa and the Congress has won it after 25 years. I want to thank the people of Panaji for this," Chodankar said.

BJP's Dayanand Sopte, Subhash Shirodkar and Joshua D'Souza won the Assembly by-elections in Shiroda, Mandrem and Mapusa, respectively, the latter two by relatively narrow margins.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the three by-election wins, which took his party's tally to 17 in the 40-member Goa legislative Assembly, would lend further stability to the coalition government in the state.

"The government will be more stable now with these wins," Sawant told reporters.

According to political analyst and former Independent MLA Radharao Gracias, the BJP-led coalition government is now "mathematically" stable.

"To add to the mathematical stability, there is the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre," Gracias said.

And signs are that BJP's local allies, such as Goa Forward Party (GFP), which have blown hot and cold against the majority alliance partner in the past, already appear to have fallen in line, especially with the mammoth victory projected for the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combination.

"As partners in the NDA, I congratulate you on your personal victory and your party's win. May this historic win pave the way for even closer partnership between our parties in the state and help take Goa forward," Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai of the GFP said soon after the counting trends suggested a big win for the NDA.

Sawant's government is supported by three MLAs of the GFP and three Independents, which takes its tally to 23 in the 40-member House.

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