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MODI REIGNS!

Friday, May 24, 2019
Illustration by Balaji Bhange

BJP emerges more powerful and dominant as NDA hits a triple ton crossing more than 350 seats across the country, while UPA struggled to reach the century mark.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday 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.

Modi himself was leading in Varanasi with a margin of over 4.3 lakh votes while party president Amit Shah was ahead in Gandhinagar in their home state of Gujarat by over 5.5 lakh votes.

"With all+ development for all+ everybody's confidence = victorious India," Modi tweeted. "Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again," he said

In the end, BJP's prediction in the final stages of campaigning of "ab ki baar 300 paar" appeared coming true, as Congress President Rahul Gandhi's campaign slogan of "chowkidar chor hai" found no resonance among voters. In almost all the states where BJP won, its vote share was more than 50 percent.

The results have raised questions about Gandhi's leadership and his party's future. At a press conference, Gandhi refused to address that issue, saying the party will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the future.

"The people of India have decided that Narendra Modi will be the PM again and I fully respect it," Gandhi told reporters. He also congratulated Modi and BJP, adding that today is not the day to into the cause of the defeat but to respect the will of the people.

If the trends stay until final results, the BJP and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance will likely end up with 344 seats, up from 336 in 2014. The BJP, which is now tantalisingly close to the 300 mark in Lok Sabha, had won 282 seats on its own in the last election.

Congratulating Modi and party workers "for achieving this miraculous win," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said "aspirational India does not accept Royalties, Dynasties and caste based parties."

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