Narendra Modi poised for super-sized victory for a second term in office
BJP's prediction of 'Ab ki baar, 300 paar' comes true, with Modi leading party towards super-sized victory for a second term in office
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a super-sized victory for a second term in office. With the elections establishing Modi as the most popular leader in decades, the partial vote count released by the Election Commission showed BJP will not only surpass its 2014 performance but also cross 300-seat mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
The euphoria of the victory was capped by a sombre speech by Modi in which he promised to devote 'every moment of my life and every fibre of my body' to the welfare of the nation. He also vowed he will never do anything with ill-intention, nor will he do anything to enrich himself. "Whenever you judge me, judge me on these three parameters. If I fall short on these, curse me. But I assure my countrymen that what I have said in public I will do my best to fulfil," he said. Striking a conciliatory political tone, he also reached out to his rivals, urging everyone to put the rancour of the bitter and often nasty campaign behind them. What’s past is past, he said.
Until midnight, BJP had won 241 seats and was leading in 62 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats that went to polls in seven phases in April and May. This has put it on course to likely winning 303 seats, far better than the 282 it won in 2014. With the support of allies in the National Democratic Alliance, the coalition could have some 344 seats. The victory margin left the combined opposition in the dust, with the Congress Party stuck at 39 confirmed victories and a lead in 13 seats.
The Modi wave not only swept through the Hindi heartland and Gujarat, as was expected, but also bulldozed 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 is expected to win four seats, while the Telangana Rashtra Samiti will get nine.
Janta maalik hai: Rahul
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday congratulated Modi for BJP’s bumper win in the general elections. Calling the results “people’s mandate”, the Congress chief said, “I had said that during the campaign ‘janta maalik hai’ (public is the decision maker) and today, people have clearly given their decision. I congratulate the PM and BJP. What matters today is that people have decided Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister and I respect that.”
Total no. of counting centres
Total no. of polling stations
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day