Election roundup: Big winners, losers and records broken
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will govern India for the next five years after India showered BJP with a stunning and historic mandate. This time, BJP performed better than it did in 2014 sealing 295 seats. As per Election Commission, BJP is leading in seven other seats, meaning it will easily touch 302-mark. The magic number to form the government is 272. Here's our roundup.
BJP, which is riding on pro-incumbency, doesn't really need allies to run the country. But party president Amit Shah has always maintained that Centre will be governed by NDA. Unsurprisingly, BJP's allies also performed well. NDA's tally at the time of press was 348 seats. It should be noted that EC is yet to declare results for a couple of seats.
On the other hand, the Opposition failed to put up a decent fight. In 2014, Congress won 44 seats and this time it managed to increase the count to just 50. Kerala and Punjab were the only states where Congress touched double digits. Its allies were also decimated. For example, RJD, led by Tejashwi Yadav, failed to open an account in Bihar.
PM Modi's wave spelled trouble for regional parties too. TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu, who worked hard to cement united opposition, lost his home state Andhra Pradesh to Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress. Reddy won 144 of 175 assembly seats and took a lead in all 25 Lok Sabha seats. In Jammu and Kashmir, PDP was routed as BJP and NC won 3 seats each.
BJP made massive inroads in West Bengal, the state where it won only two seats in last parliamentary polls. After a divisive campaign and polling seeped in blood, BJP won 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool won 22 seats. Notably, NDA failed in Tamil Nadu with Congress ally DMK winning 23 out of 38 parliamentary constituencies.
The 2019 polls will be remembered for the MPs who created history. The biggest winner was undoubtedly Smriti Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in his bastion Amethi. Shah won Gandhinagar by a historic margin of over 5 lakh votes and PM Modi retained Varanasi by a margin of 3 lakh+ votes. Union Minister Giriraj Singh defeated CPI's Kanhaiya Kumar by 4 lakh votes.
BJP's controversial candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur defeated Congress' Digvijaya Singh by 3,64,00 votes. Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir won East Delhi by getting nearly 7 lakh votes. Tejasvi Surya retained BJP's bastion, Bengaluru South, by defeating Congress' BK Hariprasad. Nikhil Kumaraswamy faced defeat at the hands of independent candidate Sumalatha from his home turf Mandya. Ravi Shankar Prasad defeated Shatrughan Sinha in Patna Sahib.
In a clear signal that India has rejected dynasty politics, Congress' Jyotiraditya Scindia lost from his citadel Guna, Madhya Pradesh, by nearly 3 lakh votes. He was defeated by BJP's Dr. KP Yadav. Congress' stalwarts like Sheila Dikshit, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ajay Maken, and Veerappa Moily lost. In BJP's camp senior leaders like Hardeep Singh Puri and KJ Alphons bit the dust.
With this thumping victory, PM Modi has become the third Prime Minister to return for a second term with full majority. The first two to do so were Jawahar Lal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Congratulating citizens of India in his victory speech, PM Modi said, "Every pore, every cell in my body will work non-stop to ensure that the country keeps moving forward."