Sealing its phenomenal electoral victory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP crossed the 300 mark and was leading in one seat as counting for votes for 542 Lok Sabha seats neared its end today. The massive exercise began yesterday morning with early trends establishing the BJP’s conclusive lead. With the BJP riding a Modi wave that took it past its 2014 tally of 282, the opposition was left way behind with the Congress winning only 52 seats, two less than it needs for a Leader of Opposition post in the lower house and marginally more than the 44 it got in the last general elections.
Regional parties followed the Congress in the electoral table. The DMK with 23 wins, the Trinamool Congress and the YSR Congress with 22 each, the Shiv Sena with 18 and the Janata Dal-United with 16 made their presence felt in an election. Left parties CPI and CPI-M were left with five seats — three for the CPI-M and two for the CPI. This is about half of their tally of 10 in 2014. Election Commission figures also showed that the BJP has won 302 and was leading in one.
The BJP and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are poised to clinch around 350 seats as against their previous 336. With this the NDA is set to return to power at the Centre. After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Modi is the third Prime Minister of the country and the first non-Congress one who has been able to retain power for a second term with full majority.