The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has wrested a landslide victory with the 25-party right wing coalition winning in over 300 seats. This would mean India will get its stablest government in 30 years.
The incumbent Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has been trounced in the elections with the combination still struggling with leads in under 60 seats. At least half a dozen union ministers have also lost indicating the depth of the rout the alliance has suffered at the hands of Narendra Modi-led BJP.
BJP and allies are currently leading in 337 seats while Congress and its allies are leading only in 59 seats.
BJP alone has won in 282 seats, which is more than the half-way mark of 272.
Since BJP alone has got absolute majority, Narendra Modi-led party will have absolute control over the government and full freedom to pursue its economic and political agenda without the need for taking on board the interests of alliance partners or opposition.
Congress alone has won only 44 seats which is the lowest tally for India’s oldest party which ruled India for more than 60 years.
BJP’s tally is the highest number of seats won by any party on its own since the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, when the Congress, led by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi won a landslide victory, primarily riding on the sympathy wave following the assassination of his mother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her own security guards.
The 16th Lok Sabha elections, which spanned over two months, saw the highest ever turnout in India for any general election. A total of 551.3 million people—or 66.38% of the total electorate—voted indicating a larger participation of people in the world’s largest democratic exercise.
BJP has secured 31 of the votes while Congress has got 19.3% of the votes polled.
Markets have responded to the early trends indicating NDA’s landslide win with a 1,400-point jump on Friday as India’s benchmark index Sensex crossed the 25,000 mark for the first time, while Nifty surpassed 7,500 points.
Sensex finally closed 216 points and Nifty 80 points up on Friday as they shed most of the gains on account of profit taking. The rupee closed about 0.85% higher at Rs 58.79, which is a 10-month high for the currency against the dollar.
In reaction to the election results, FICCI president Sidharth Birla said: “A clear mandate is positive for India. FICCI hopes that this mandate will help leadership restore the much needed investor confidence, attract higher investment and generate employment.”
Despite a BJP wave across the country, party leader Arun Jaitley, who was rumoured to become finance minister in the incoming Modi government, has lost from Amritsar to Congress’s Captain Amarinder Singh.
Another high profile candidate to bite the dust is former Infosys CEO and UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani who debuted in Bangalore South against the BJP’s Ananth Kumar.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and Minister of Corporate Affairs Sachin Pilot, who contested from Ajmer Lok Sabha constituency, has lost to BJP’s Sanwar Lal Jat. Besides Pilot, the other union ministers who lost elections include Renewable Energy minister Farooq Abdullah, Law Minister Kapil Sibal, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, Telecom Minister Milind Deora, Civil Aviation Minister Ajith Singh and former railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
Four states had also gone to polls along with Lok Sabha elections, and all of them have gone to non-Congress parties. Biju Janata Dal has retained Odisha by winning/leading in 116 of the 147 assembly seats, while it’s also leading in all 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state. TRS has won in the debut elections of the new state Telangana by leading/winning in 63 of the 119 assembly seats. Seemandhra has gone to Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, who is also BJP’s ally, which is leading/winning in 106 of the 175 seats. Sikkim Democratic Front is leading in 23 of the 32 seats in Sikkim.