Narendra Modi
BJP President Amit Shah, left, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, right, present a giant floral garland to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the party headquarters in New Delhi. Image Credit: AP


  • 67.11 per cent of the 909.9 million eligible Indian voters had cast their votes
  • Seven-phase elections
  • Over 8,000 candidates were in the fray for 542 seats
  • BJP has consolidated its lead over rivals and will return to power

Election in the world’s largest democracy has concluded where 67.11 per cent of the 909.9 million eligible voters in India had cast their votes to reelect BJP and Narendra Modi for yet another term of five years. Here’s our coverage of how the events unfolded on the last two days of the poll process, as it happened:

BJP wins 303 seats

BJP wins 303 seats as Election Commission of India announces results for all the constituencies. Congress could manage only a distant 52 seats and hence won't be eligible for the title of Leader of the Opposition, which requires a minimum of 54 seats.

Final party position

190524 results
Screengrab from Election Commission of India website showing the final party-wise position Image Credit: Courtesy Election Commission of India

Modi's swearing-in ceremony likely on May 30

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be sworn-in for the second term on May 30 and some world leaders could be invited for it, making it an event bigger than the 2014 when heads of governments of SAARC countries were invited, reports say. Before his swearing-in, Modi is likely to visit Varanasi to thank the people of the parliamentary constituency from where he has been elected for the second time with a huge margin of 4,75,754 votes. Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the Prime Minister is in no hurry for the swearing-in as he wants to invite some world leaders for the event to send a message across the globe about how the general elections embodied the strength of Indian democracy, the largest in the world.

Result in 541 seats officially released

Election Commission of India has announced the results in 541 seats, of which 302 have gone to BJP, 52 to INC, 23 to DMK, 22 to AITC&YSR, 18 to Shiv Sena.

Gandhi-Nehru brand tainted by new election humiliation

A second straight landslide election defeat for opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi raised serious questions Friday about his leadership and cast a damaging shadow over one of the world's most prominent political dynasties. Gandhi, who even lost the family constituency seat to Bharatiya Janata Party, will have to face the music at a meeting of party leaders in coming days. The election results made grim reading for Congress barons who have relied for generations on the talismanic Nehru-Gandhi name - which rivals the Kennedy clan in the United States and the Bhuttos in Pakistan - to provide electoral success. The tarnished party was predicted to get about 50 seats, barely improving the historic low 44 it won in Modi's last landslide in 2014. Congress failed to get a single seat in 13 of the country's 29 states. When asked about responsibility for the loss, Rahul Gandhi told a press conference late Thursday: "This is between my party and me. Between me and the Congress Working Committee." Party spokesmen have insisted the 48-year-old son, grandson and great-grandson of Indian prime ministers would not resign and that strategy was to blame for the defeat. "We have to go back to the drawing board," Congress spokesman Salman Soz said.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi reacts
Congress President Rahul Gandhi reacts as he addresses a press conference on 2019 Lok Sabha polls results at the party headquarters in New Delhi, on May 23, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Terror accused wins parliament seat

A firebrand Hindu nun facing terrorism charges over the deadly bombing of a mosque has been elected to Indian parliament, a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned her for celebrating the assassin of independence hero Mahatma Gandhi. Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is accused of participating in the 2008 attack that killed six people and injured more than 100 others. She spent nine years in detention over the charge and is still awaiting a trial for terrorism and criminal conspiracy after being bailed in 2017. But the 49-year-old won an emphatic victory for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in results announced Thursday, taking 62 percent of the vote for a seat in the central industrial city of Bhopal.

BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur
BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur waves to her supporters while celebrating her victory in Bhopal. Image Credit: REUTERS

Voters say 'no' to criminals in UP

For the first time in Uttar Pradesh, majority of criminal candidates have been swept off the political stage in the Modi wave. Uttar Pradesh, since the 1980s, has been dominated by criminals-turned politicians and almost every party pampers them for electoral gains. This is the first time that criminals contesting elections have been made to bite dust. Guddu Pandit of BSP was a candidate in Fatehpur Sikri and made headlines in the middle of the campaign when he abused co-contestant Raj Babbar of Congress on a television show. Guddu Pandit has travelled through all major political parties and faces cases of rape and attempt to murder. He lost the elections and remained at the third position. Vinod Singh a.k.a. Pandit Singh, the SP candidate from Gonda, lost the elections. He is a much feared politician and makes headlines at regular intervals for his 'criminal' behaviour. Bal Kumar Patel, nephew of dreaded dacoit Dadua, has lost the elections from Banda and ranked third. Anand Sen Yadav, the SP candidate form Faizabad is the son of former MP Mitrasen Yadav. He was accused in the kidnap and murder of a Dalit student and spent several months in jail. He lost the polls to BJP's Lallu Singh in Faizabad. Arun Shankar Shukla, once a famous criminal from Lucknow, was the SP candidate in Unnao. He lost to BJP's Sakshi Maharaj. Ajay Rai, the Congress candidate in Varanasi, is also well known for his criminal antecedents. He remained at the third position -- the same that he held in 2014. Ramakant Yadav, a criminal candidate who had left the BJP to join the Congress and contested the Bhadohi seat, is another major loser in these elections. He finished a poor third. Sonu Singh, with several criminal cases against him, was the BSP candidate in Sultanpur but he lost by a thin margin to Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. Akshay Pratap Singh, the Jansatta Party candidate in Pratapgarh, is known for his criminal activities. He rests at the fourth position in his constituency.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pardesh Yogi Aditya Nath
Chief Minister of Uttar Pardesh Yogi Aditya Nath (C) flashes the victory sign to supporters during the victory celebration at party office in Lucknow. Image Credit: AFP

Two high-profile BJP leaders bite dust in Odisha

Amid celebrations in the BJP camp for the stupendous victory in the Lok Sabha elections, two of its high-profile leaders lost in Odisha. Former MP Baijayant Panda, who was contesting from the Kendrapara Parliament constituency, lost to actor-turned Rajya Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty by a margin of 1,52,584 votes. The four-time MP had represented Kendrapara twice on BJD ticket and months after resigning from the BJD, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just ahead of elections. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra lost to sitting BJD MP Pinaki Mishra by a margin of 11,714 votes in a close fight from the Puri Lok Sabha seat. Mishra had an easy win in Puri in 2009 and 2014. In 1996, he won the seat on a Congress ticket. Out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats, the BJD won 12, while the BJP emerged victorious in eight and the Congress opened its account by winning the Koraput Lok Sabha seat.

A Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supporter flashes the victory sign
A Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supporter flashes the victory sign as he celebrates the party's victory in the Lok Sabha elections, in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Image Credit: PTI

BJP's rise sounds alarm for TRS in Telangana

As the Bharatiya Janata Party bagged four of the 17 seats in Telangana, an alarm has been sounded to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which emerged as the largest party in the state with nine seats. While vote share of both the BJP and TRS increased from the 2014 general elections, the latter's seat count declined by two. The TRS's share in total votes polled is 41.3 per cent as against 34.9 per cent in 2014. On the other hand, the BJP almost doubled its base in the state as its vote share increased to 19.5 per cent from 10.5 per cent. Congress' performance was slightly better this time as its vote share increased from 24.7 per cent in 2014 to 29.5 per cent in 2019. It has bagged three seats - an increase of one seat from the last time. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), led by Asaduddin Owaisi, won one seat with vote share of 2.8 per cent.

BJP supporters dance
BJP supporters dance as they celebrate the party's victory in India's general election, in Hyderabad. Image Credit: AFP

BJP wins 1 LS seat, 3 Assembly bypolls in Goa

Bharatiya Janata Party in Goa won one Lok Sabha seat, but lost the other amid a saffron tsunami in the country. However, the BJP won three Assembly by-elections in the state, while losing the prestigious Panaji Assembly seat, which was held by the ruling party since 1994. Victory in three Assembly seats has now put the BJP-led coalition government in the state on a firm footing, according to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik won the North Goa Lok Sabha seat by over 80,247 votes against his nearest Congress rival Girish Chodankar, who polled 1,64,597 votes. Naik, a four-time MP, battled both anti-incumbency as well as a potential backlash from the aggrieved sections of Goa's banned mining belt, but managed to ride the proverbial Modi wave to victory.

Shripad Naik
BJP candidate from North Goa constituency Shripad Naik celebrates his victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha results, in Panaji. Image Credit: PTI

BJP wins all five seats in Uttarakhand

Repeating the feat of 2014, the BJP scored a big victory in Uttarakhand bagging all the five Lok Sabha seats in the state. In all the five seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates won by more than 2 to 3 lakh votes. BJP state President Ajay Bhatt scored an emphatic victory by 3.39 lakh votes against Congress General Secretary and former Chief Minister Harish Rawat from Nainital seat. In Haridwar, BJP's candidate and former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank defeated Congress' Ambrish Kumar by 2.58 lakh votes. In Tehri, Maharani Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah of the BJP defeated state Congress chief Pritam Singh by nearly three lakh votes. In Pauri, BJP National Secretary Tirath Singh Rawat crushed Congress' Manish Khanduri, son of BJP stalwart B.C. Khanduri, by nearly three lakh votes. In Almora, BJP candidate and Union Minister of state for Textiles Ajay Tamta defeated Congress' Pradip Tamta by 2.32 lakh votes. In 2014, the BJP had made a clean sweep winning all the five seats in the state.

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat being garlanded after BJP's victory in all five Lok Sabha seats of the state in Dehradun. Image Credit: PTI

BJP wins five seats in Delhi; leading at two

Maintaining its hold over Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party won five of the seven Lok Sabha seats here, while it was leading at two. In 2014 the BJP had bagged all the seven seats here. While Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party was second on all the seats in Delhi in 2014, it came third on five of the seven seats in 2019. The Congress was second on five seats this time. The BJP had won on the East Delhi, New Delhi, North East Delhi, North West Delhi and West Delhi seats. It is leading on Chandni Chowk and South Delhi. It won the West and the North West Delhi seats with a margin of over 5.5 lakhs.

Modi wins Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won Varanasi Lok Sabha seat by 479505 votes.

Seven former Congress CMs lose polls, two trailing

As the Congress suffered another debacle in Lok Sabha polls, several senior leaders of the party including seven former Chief Ministers lost their contests and two were trailing with big margins. Three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit lost from Delhi North East, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat lost from Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was defeated from Sonipat, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh lost from Bhopal, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde from Solapur, former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma from Tura and former Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily lost from Chikkballapur. Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki was trailing behind Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in Arunchal West and in Maharashtra's Nanded, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is trailing behind Prataprao Patil Chikhalikar of the BJP. While Shinde lost for the second consecutive time, Moily and Chavan were members of the outgoing Lok Sabha.

modi teaser
Bhartiya Janata Party workers welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he, along with BJP President Amit Shah, arrives at the party headquarters to celebrate the party's victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, in New Delhi, Thursday, May 23, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Gambhir wins East Delhi by 3,91,222 votes

BJP's cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir won the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat here by a margin of 3,91,222 votes over his Congress rival and former Delhi Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely. Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party came third. While Gambhir bagged the seat with 6,96,156 (55.35 per cent) votes, Lovely got 3,04,934 (24.24 per cent) votes. AAP's Atishi was third with 2,19,328 (17.44 per cent) votes. Out of the total 12,57,821 votes, Bahujan Samaj Party's Sanjay Kumar was fourth with 19,090 (1.52 per cent) votes.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir, BJP candidate from East Delhi constituency recives certificate of election on his victory in the Lok Sabha elctions 2019, in New Delhi. Image Credit: PTI

Bengal's BJP chief Dilip Ghosh wins Medinipur LS seat

BJP's West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh won the Medinipur Lok Sabha seat defeating Trinamool Congress' Manas Bhunia. Ghosh defeated Bhunia, a sitting member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha, by over 87,275 votes. "Despite several violent attacks on me and our party workers, we brought political change in the state. People started believing that the Trinamool can be ousted from power by the BJP" Ghosh said. In 2014, Trinamool Congress' Sandhya Roy, a Bengali film actress, won the seat by 1, 85,128 votes.

S.S. Ahluwalia wins Bengal's Burdwan-Durgapur seat

Union Minister and Darjeeling's outgoing BJP MP S.S. Ahluwalia won West Bengal's Burdwan-Durgapur seat, defeating Trinamool Congress' Mamtaz Sanghamita by a slender margin of 2,439 votes. Sanghamita won the seat in 2014 with a margin of 1,07,337 votes. Former Trinamool MP Saumitra Khan who was expelled for "anti-party activity, and secured the saffron party's nomination from his old constituency Bishnupur, retained the seat by a margin of 78,047 votes over his nearest rival, Shyamal Santra of the Trinamool.

Rahul wins Wayanad with record margin

Congress President Rahul Gandhi won Kerala's Wayanad seat - the second seat he contested in the 2019 polls - with a record margin of 431,770 votes. Gandhi defeated his nearest rival P.P. Suneer of the Communist Party of India who secured 274,597 votes, while Gandhi got 706,367 votes. This margin of victory is the highest in the state for any Lok Sabha constituency.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi

Manoj Tiwari wins Delhi North East seat

Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari won the Delhi North East Lok Sabha seat, defeating his Congress rival and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit by a margin of 3,66,102 votes. While Tiwari got 7,87,799 (53.9 per cent) votes, Dikshit got 4,21,697 (28.85 per cent) votes. Aam Aadmi Party's Dilip Pandey came third, with 1,90,856 (13.06 per cent) votes and lost his security deposit.

BJP wins 22, leads in 3 of Karnataka's 28 LS seats

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 22 seats and was leading in three of the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka where the vote count was about to end. In contrast, the ruling Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) allies faced a rout in the southern state, retaining only one seat each and forfeiting nine seats to the BJP. The 22 seats the BJP won across the southern state are Bagalkot, Bangalore Central, Bangalore North, Bangalore South, Bellary (ST), Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur, Chikkodi, Chitradurga (SC), Dharwad, Davanagere, Dakshina Kannada, Gulbarga (SC) Haveri, Koppal, Mysore, Raichur (ST), Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi-Chikmagalur and Uttara Kannada. The BJP is leading in Belgaum, Bijapur (SC) and Kolar (SC).

Babul Supriyo defeats Moon Moon Sen to retain Asansol

Union Minister and BJP candidate Babul Supriyo retains the Asansol Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 197,637 votes over his nearest rival Moon Moon Sen of the Trinamool Congress. Singer-actor-turned-politician Supriyo secured 633,378 votes while Sen got 435,741. Supriyo had created a sensation by winning from Asansol in 2014, when BJP bagged only two LS seats from the state.

190429 Moon Moon Sen

MNF wins Mizoram's lone LS seat

C. Lalrosanga of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) declared elected from the state's lone Lok Sabha seat, defeating his nearest Independent rival Lalnghinglova Hmar by 8,307 votes, the Election Commission announced. The MNF, a constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA, has also won the Assembly by-election in the state. Lalrosanga, a former Indian Broadcasting Programme Service officer and retired Director General of Doordarshan, secured 223,509 votes (44.89 per cent). Hmar, backed by the opposition Congress and the Zoram People's Movement alliance, bagged 215,202 votes (43.26 per cent).

AAP set to lose on all seven seats in Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party is set to lose on all seven seats in Delhi as it is trailing by lakhs of votes and coming third in most of the constituencies. Except North-West and South Delhi seats, where they are at the second spot, the ruling party in Delhi is trailing at the third position in all the other five constituencies. AAP had fielded seven candidates in Delhi - Brijesh Goyal from New Delhi, Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk, Raghav Chadha from South Delhi, Atishi from East Delhi, Dilip Pandey from North East Delhi, Gugan Singh from North West Delhi and Balbir Singh Jakhad from West Delhi.

Will not work with bad intentions: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that he will not work with "bad intentions" and that he would like to move ahead by taking everyone along, leaving behind the bitterness witnessed during the Lok Sabha campaign. Addressing the victory celebration at the party headquarters here, he said that the mandate won by the BJP-led coalition was the biggest development in the democratic world and reflected an abiding strength in democracy. "With bigger mandate, comes greater responsibility...I will not do anything with bad intention and and will do nothing for myself. "Who said what during the election campaign, for me it is past. We have to look to the future. We have to take everyone along in national interest. And despite such a majority, we will move with humility," Modi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes the victory sign

J-K BJP, NC set to win 3 seats each; Mufti suffers humiliating loss

The BJP is set to retain its three Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir, with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti suffering a humiliating loss in her hitherto south Kashmir bastion. National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and Union Minister Jitendra Singh are among the prominent faces to make it to the 17th Lok Sabha. The biggest electoral upset in the state was witnessed in Anantnag with National Conference candidate and former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi defeating former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti

Chandrababu Naidu resigns as Andhra Pradesh CM

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu resigned following his Telugu Desam Party's defeat in Assembly elections. Naidu sent his resignation to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, who accepted it and asked Naidu to continue till alternate arrangements were made. The Governor is set to invite YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) to form the government. The YSRCP has won or leading in 149 seats in 175-member Assembly. YSRCP chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced that he will take oath as the Chief Minister on May 30.

Mohamad Bin Zayed congratulates Modi

His Highness Shaikh Mohamad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces has congratulated Narendra Modi over his party’s victory in the general elections. “I was pleased to talk to my dear friend Narendra Modi, India’s PM, over the phone to congratulate him on his party’s election win,” he has tweeted. “We look forward to working together to deepen our strong bilateral ties. The UAE wishes India & its friendly people more development & prosperity” Shaikh Mohammad added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modiand president of BJP Amit Shah
Prime Minister Narendra Modiand president of BJP Amit Shah gesture as they celebrate the victory in India's general elections, in New Delhi. Image Credit: AFP

Rupee pares gains, settles 36 paise down at 70.02 vs USD

The Indian rupee surrendered all its early gains and closed 36 paise lower at 70.02 against the US dollar on Thursday after investors looked past the euphoria over BJP's election victory and shifted focus to macro-economic developments that will set the tone for the forex market going ahead. The Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is all set to form the government at the Centre for a second consecutive term after having swept the Lok Sabha polls. At the interbank foreign exchange (forex), the domestic currency opened at 69.45 a dollar and gained further strength to touch a high of 69.37 during the day. The domestic currency, however, could not hold on to the gains and settled at 70.02 per dollar, down 36 paise over its previous close. The rupee had settled at 69.66 against the US dollar Wednesday. On May 16, 2014 - the day when the 16th Lok Sabha election results were announced - the rupee traded around 58.74 against USD. In line with weaker rupee on Thursday, the benchmark BSE Sensex erased early gains to end 299 points lower as investors booked profits after stocks soared to record highs.

Modi promises inclusive India after stunning election win

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to unite the country on Thursday after a big election win, with his party on course to increase its majority on a mandate of business-friendly policies and a tough stand on national security. Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party ahead in 300 of the 542 seats being contested, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament. That would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984. "Together we will build a strong and inclusive India," Modi said on Twitter. "India wins yet again!" Modi's victory boosted financial markets as investors expect his government to continue to pursue economic reforms. He will be under pressure to provide work opportunities for the tens of millions of young people coming on to the job market in the next few years and to boost depressed farm incomes. "The immediate challenges are to address employment, the issue of agricultural income and revive the banking sector," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings in Mumbai.

BJP supporters celebrate their victory
BJP supporters celebrate their victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections at the party headquarters in New Delhi. Image Credit: PTI

PM remove 'chowkidar' prefix

Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed the 'chowkidar' prefix from his Twitter handle but said the word remains an integral part of him. Modi had added chowkidar in his Twitter handle on March 17, a day after launching the "Main Bhi Chowkidar (I am a watchman too)" campaign on social media. "Now, the time has come to take the Chowkidar Spirit to the next level. Keep this spirit alive at every moment and continue working for India's progress," he tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi concedes defeat in Amethi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi concedes defeat in Amethi and says, "I respect the decision and congratulate Smriti Irani ji."

BJP supporters celebrate their victory
BJP supporters celebrate their victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Siliguri. Image Credit: AFP

Calling Modi thief was wrong: Nitin Gadkari

BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said calling Prime Minister Narendra a "thief" was wrong as the Prime Minister does not belong to a party but the country. Speaking to the media as the BJP leads in the trends of the Lok Sabha results, he said the people have voted for the BJP as they have shown faith in Modi's leadership. "The people of the nation know what is best for the country. In this election, people have shown faith that the Modi rule can change the nation. People have voted for the same. BJP's win is people's choice," the Union Minister said. "The Prime Minister is not of any party, he is of the country; it was wrong to call him a thief," said Gadkari.

NAT 181216 Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

Farooq Abdullah wins

Farooq Abdullah wins Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.

Indian stocks hit record highs on Modi polls lead

Indian stocks hit record highs Thursday as early results in the world's biggest election showed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on course for a second term. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index hit the 40,000 mark for the first time ever while the Nifty crossed 12,000 points, also a new landmark.

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)
People watch share prices on a digital broadcast outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

Modi's BJP claims victory

India's ruling BJP party claimed victory Thursday in the country's elections after vote counting showed it heading for a majority in parliament. "Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi's lead crosses 200,000 mark

The Opposition Congress led-UDF in Kerala appears to be heading for a landslide in the state by continuing its lead in 19 of the total 20 Lok Sabha seats with AICC President Rahul Gandhi so far garnering over 200,000 votes from Wayanad. Gandhi, who contested from Wayanad, besides his traditional stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, garnered 2,58,975 votes till 1.30 PM, as per the Election Commission website. Besides Gandhi, five UDF candidtates- Remya Haridas, Hibi Eden, Dean Kuriyakose (all Congress), P K Kunhalikutty and E T Mohammed Basheer (both IUML) have crossed the 100,000 mark, as counting of votes is progressing in 140 centres across the southern state.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi Image Credit: PTI

BJP leader seeks Kumaraswamy's resignation in Karnataka

Buoyed by the initial trends indicating a landslide victory for the BJP in Karnataka, its senior leader R. Ashoka on Thursday sought the resignation of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy for his Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) facing a rout in the Lok Sabha elections with its pre-poll ally Congress. "Accepting defeat gracefully, Kumaraswamy should resign as his party lost the moral right to continue along with the Congress, which are trailing behind in 24 of the 28 parliamentary seats across the state," Ashoka told reporters at the party's state unit office. According to the latest counting trends, an upbeat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in 23 seats, the Congress in three and the JD-S in one.

H.D. Kumaraswamy
H.D. Kumaraswamy Image Credit: Supplied

Modi to reach BJP headquarters in evening

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to reach the BJP headquarters and address a gathering of party workers on Thursday evening as the party was set to return to power. Although the counting was in progress, the trends released by the Election Commission for all 542 seats that went to the polls indicated the BJP was leading on 290 seats while the Congress on only 52 seats. The party has planned a huge gathering for a grand welcome for Narendra Modi as it has invited people to reach its headquarters in large numbers. "You are invited to join BJP's victory celebrations at BJP headquarters at 6/A Deendayal Upadhyay Marg," the message read. BJP chief Amit Shah is also likely to reach the party headquarters around 2 p.m. Parliamentary Borad, the BJP's highest decision making body, is also to meet late in the evening or on Friday, a party official said.

BJP workers celebrate outside BJP headquarters in Mumbai
BJP workers celebrate outside BJP headquarters in Mumbai. Image Credit: AP

Gujarat: Amit Shah set to win, BJP ahead on all 26 seats

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday appeared all set to capture all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat yet again even as its national President Amit Shah was leading by a hefty margin of over 2.38 lakh votes at the end of the first 10 rounds of counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections. Shah, contesting from the Gandhinagar parliamentary constituency for the first time, has bagged 3,52,099 votes to establish a lead of more than 2.38 lakh votes over his nearest rival C.J. Chawda of the Congress who has managed 1,13,436 votes.

BJP supporters celebrate
BJP supporters celebrate after learning the initial election results outside the party headquarters in New Delhi. Image Credit: Reuters

Karnataka: BJP heads for landslide win, Congress, JD-S face rout

BJP is heading for a landslide victory while the ruling Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) alliance face rout in Karnataka's 28 Lok Sabha constituencies where vote count was underway on Thursday. According to the latest trends available at noon, the BJP is leading in 23 seats, Congress in three, JD-S in one, and an Independent backed by the BJP is ahead in one.

A boy poses with lotus flowers
A boy poses with lotus flowers (the party symbol of BJP) as NDA takes lead in Lok Sabha polls, on the vote counting day in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Image Credit: PTI

Congress-led UDF leading in 19 seats in Kerala

Congress led-UDF is leading in 19 out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala with AICC President Rahul Gandhi leading in Wayanad constituency with 1,09,612 votes. As per the trends released by the Election Commission, Thiruvananthapuram candidate, Shashi Tharoor is leading with 13,716 votes against the BJP candidate Kummanam Rajashekharan, who had thrown his hat into the electoral arena after resigning as Mizoram Governor. Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam is trailing in Ernakulam constituency, where Congress candidate Hibi Eden is leading by 36,447 votes. The ruling LDF as able to register a lead in the Alapuzha constituency, where sitting MLA A M Arif is contesting on a CPI(M) ticket. Arif has got a narrow lead of 1,635 against UDF candidate Shanimol Usman. In Palakkad, the two-time sitting MP M B Rajesh is trailing by 29,378 against Congress candidate V K Sreekandan. In politically volatile Vatakara constituency, the CPI(M) strongman P Jayarajan is trailing by 8,802 votes against Congress leader K Muraleedharan.

Supporters of BJP shout slogan
Supporters of BJP shout slogans and hold party flags as they celebrate on the vote results day in Siliguri. Image Credit: AFP

BJP on course to victory

Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked on course for a major victory in India's election, with early trends from the election commission showing a clear lead for his party. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead in 277 out of the 542 constituencies after two hours of counting, more than the 272 seats required for a majority even without its allies.

BJP supporters celebrate
BJP supporters celebrate their party's lead in the Lok Sabha elections, at Madanpura area of Varanasi. Image Credit: PTI

BJP leading in 336 seats

Trends: BJP leading in 336 seats, Congress in 96 and others in 110 seats

BJP leads in 328 seats

According to NDTV news channel, BJP leads in 328 seats, Congress 104, and others in 110

A BJP supporter waves a party flag
A BJP supporter waves a party flag as he celebrates after learning the initial election results, in New Delhi. Image Credit: Reuters

BJP is leading in 288

As per current trends available for all the 542 constituencies, BJP is leading in 288 while INC is leading in 51, DMK in 22, AITC in 25, YSRC in 24 and Shivsena in 20 constituencies: Election Commission of India

Telangana: TRS lead in 11, BJP in 3

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was leading in 11 out of 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana, according to early trends available with the Election Commission of India. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading in three constituencies including Secunderabad. The Congress and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) were ahead in one each. Trend was not yet available from Nizamabad where a record number of 185 candidates are in fray.

BJP leading

As per current trends available for 527 constituencies, BJP is leading in 282 while INC is leading in 51, DMK in 22, AITC in 22, YSRC in 24 and Shivsena in 19: Election Commission of India

BJP leading in Karnataka

BJP is leading in 7 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka after the first round of vote count on Thrusday, an official said. "The BJP is leading in Koppal, Uttara Kannada, Bijapur (SC), Bidar, Haveri, Bangalore Central, Bellary and Chikkaballapur over the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)," the official told IANS here.

Congress leading in Kerala

Congress+ sweeps Kerala in initial trends, leads in 19 out of 20 seats when over 12 per cent of votes are counted. The ruling Left Front has been virtually decimated in the state and is clinging to a meagre 1,639 vote lead in just one seat, Alappuzha.

DMK leads in Tamil Nadu's 20 Lok Sabha seats

The DMK-led alliance is leading in 20 of the 38 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu, said the Election Commission of India. According to the election commission, the DMK is leading in 14 seats and its alliance partner Congress in five. DMK's Kanimozhi is leading in Thoothukudi against her closet rival BJP's Tamilisai Soundararajan.

Trinamool Congress party leading

Trinamool Congress party leading in 19 seats and the BJP in 16 in West Bengal.

Akhilesh Yadav leads in Azamgarh

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav leads in Azamgarh, the constituency won by father Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2014

BJP leading

At 8am UAE time, BJP is leading in 306 seats, Congress in 103 seats and non-aligned parties 95 seats.

Narendra Modi leading

Narendra Modi leading in Varanasi by 11,000 votes, says ABP news channel.

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Narendra Modi Image Credit: AFP

Rahul Gandhi leading

Rahul Gandhi leading in Wayanad by 10,000 votes, reports India Today news channel.

190523 Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi Image Credit: PTI

Smriti Irani leads

Early trends: BJP's Smriti Irani leads Rahul Gandhi by over 2000 votes in Congress bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

190523 Smriti Irani
Smiriti Irani Image Credit: PTI

Counting of votes begins in Tamil Nadu

Counting of votes polled in 38 Lok Sabha and 22 Assembly constituencies where by-elections were held started in Tamil Nadu on Thursday morning. The postal votes will be counted first, followed by votes registered in the electronic voting machines. The electoral fate of 822 candidates in the 38 Lok Sabha seats and 406 candidates in the by-elections for Assembly seats will be known on Thursday. The Lok Sabha polls saw a four cornered contest. The two major fronts are: the AIADMK-led front comprising the PMK, BJP, DMDK, TMC, PT, PNK and others and the DMK-led front consisting of the Congress, MDMK, IUML, CPI, CPI-M, VCK, KMDK and IJK. The AMMK floated by independent legislator T.T.V. Dhinakaran and the MNM floated by actor-politician Kamal Haasan made their electoral debut. The prominent personalities in the electoral fray are: Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai (Karur), Union Minister and BJP's Pon Radhakrishnan (Kanniyakumari), H. Vasanthakumar (Congress-Kanniyakumari), Karti P. Chidambaram (Congress-Sivaganga), H. Raja (BJP-Sivaganga), Kanimozhi (DMK-Thoothukudi), Tamilisai Soundararajan (BJP-Thoothukudi), T.R. Baalu (DMK-Sriperumbudur), Dayanidhi Maran (DMK-Chennai Central), A. Raja (DMK-Nilgiris) and Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK-Dharmapuri).

Counting of 1.37 crore ballots for 13 Punjab seats begin

The counting of 1.37 crore ballots for the 13 parliamentary seats of Punjab began on Thursday morning amidst tight security, electoral officials said. The main contest in the state is between the ruling Congress and the Akali Dal-BJP combine. However, all eyes are on two seats -- Amritsar and Gurdaspur -- witnessing a clash of personalities. In Amritsar, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri is making his electoral debut against sitting Congress MP Gurjit Aujla. In Gurdaspur, actor Sunny Deol is the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate against Congress state President Sunil Jakhar, who won the October 2017 by-election by 1.92 lakh votes.

Counting begins for 42 LS seats in West Bengal

Counting of votes for the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal began on Thursday in 58 counting centres across the state. Two Parliamentary Constituencies - Kolkata North and Jhargram - will have maximum of 25 rounds of counting. At the other end, Jalpaiguri, Raiganj and Balurghat seats will have only 10 rounds of counting. All the counting centres have a three-tier security system and the strong rooms are being guarded by the CAPF.

Counting for 2 LS seats, 4 bypolls begin in Goa

Counting of votes for Goa's two Lok Sabha seats and four state Assembly bypolls began in two counting centres on Thursday. In the Lok Sabha polls which were held on April 23, Union Minister of State for AYUSH and four-term BJP MP Shripad Naik took on Congress state President Girish Chodankar for the North Goa seat. From the South Goa Lok Sabha seat, former Chief Minister and Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha contested against sitting BJP MP Narendra Sawaikar. Voter turnout for the two seats was recorded at 74.72 per cent.

Vote count starts in Mumbai, Maharashtra

Counting of millions of votes started at various places in Mumbai and Maharashtra amid tight security for 48 Lok Sabha seats on Thursday morning, officials said. In Mumbai, the counting of postal and defence ballots was taken up first followed by the count of the votes cast in EVMs. The early voting trends are expected within a couple of hours. In Mumbai, the prominent candidates in the fray are: BJP's Gopal Shetty, Poonam Mahajan, Manoj Kotak; Shiv Sena's Gajanan Kirtikar, Rahul Shewale, Arvind Sawant; Congress' Milind M. Deora, Sanjay Nirupam, Eknath Gaekwad, Priya Dutt, Urmila Matondkar; and Nationalist Congress Party's Sanjay Dina Patil.

Counting of ballots for 10 Haryana seats begin

The counting of ballots for all the 10 parliamentary seats of Haryana began on Thursday amid tight security, electoral officials said. Chief Electoral Officer Rajeev Ranjan said there are about 1,05,859 service voters. He said all preparations have been made for the counting of votes, which will be carried out in 90 counting centres at 39 places. It is a do-or-die battle for Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his predecessor and 'marginalised' Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Counting of votes begins

Officials around India began Thursday the mammoth process of counting the roughly 600 million votes cast in the world's biggest election, with results due later in the day. If there is a clear trend, this should be evident by around midday (0630 GMT). Exit polls pointed to a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi but such projections have been wrong in the past.

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An election official checks electronic voting machines as counting votes of India's massive general elections begins in New Delhi Image Credit: AP
Polling officials seal an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine at a polling station after the end of the last phase of the general election in Kolkata, on May 19, 2019. Image Credit: REUTERS
The counting process
As per procedure, postal ballots will be the first to be counted.
Service voters stood at 18 lakh. These include personnel of the armed forces, central police force personnel and state police personnel who are posted outside their constituencies.
Diplomats and support staff posted in Indian embassies abroad are also counted as service voters.
The exercise of counting postal ballots manually will itself take a couple of hours at least, an election commission official said.
The paper trail machines slips will be counted in the end. As per the procedure, first the slips will be counted and the EVM displays would be switched on later to match the results.
In case of a mismatch, the results based in paper slip count will be considered as final. The entire exercise of EVM-Paper trail machine matching will take an additional four to five hours.
Out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats, elections were held in 542 constituencies as the EC had cancelled polls to the Vellore constituency on the grounds of excessive use of money power.
The poll panel is yet to announce a fresh date for elections in Vellore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav are among key leaders who contested the polls.
This is for the first time in a Lok Sabha (parliament) election that results of voting machines will be matched with slips generated by paper trail machines (VVPAT).
What is VVPAT?
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines are used during election process to verify that the vote polled by a voter goes to the correct candidate. VVPATs are a second line of verification and are particularly useful in the time when allegations around Electronic Voting Machines' tampering crop up.
VVPAT machines
File photo: VVPAT machines being unloaded from an IAF chopper for the final phase of Lok Sabha polls, at Kaza in Lahaul district, Himachal Pradesh, on May 15, 2019. Image Credit: PTI
How does VVPAT work?
After a voter presses the button on the EVM against the chosen candidate, the VVPAT prints a slip containing name of the candidate and the election symbol and drops it automatically into a sealed box. The machines give the chance for the voter to verify their vote. The machine is placed in a glass case in a way that only the voter can see it. The slip is displayed to the voter for seven seconds after which the VVPAT machine cuts it and drops in into the storage box with a beep. The machines can be accessed, though, by the polling officials and not by the voter.
The Election Commission of India has not conceded to any allegation that the EVMs used for polling can be tampered with. However, VVPATs have been used in some elections in a bid to counter all allegation of tampering.
India elections
Image Credit: Gulf News