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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Is Set to Come Back to Power Even Stronger

It's the first time a non-Congress prime minister has returned to power.

by Pallavi Pundir
23 May 2019, 12:41pm

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally at Ramlila ground in New Delhi, India, May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

On May 23 morning, barely two hours into the tallying of votes (that started at 8 a.m.) for the Indian general elections 2019—touted, repeatedly, to be the biggest democratic exercise in the world—the entire country kind of already knew what the verdict was going to be.

However, at the time of writing this report, all trends and updates on the result of over a six-week-long polling period, have pointed to a stark, clear victory: that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has yet again won what will be remembered as a historic Lok Sabha election—a first for a non-Indian National Congress (INC) prime minister to return to power for the second time in a row.

Reports also highlight that the BJP alone is leading by a landslide majority—bigger than the 282 seats it won during the general elections in 2014, in which BJP made history by becoming the first single party to win a clear majority in 30 years. Today, as we speak, BJP is leading in 292* seats (and counting—which is way beyond the 272-seat majority required for the win), while INC is still trailing at 53*. The BJP also has major sweeps in several north Indian states, especially the “cow belt” which is made of Hindi-speaking north Indian states— considered, by analysts, as crucial for PM Modi’s fate this elections.

While the results are yet to be officially announced by the Election Commission, the numbers have sent the anticipating Indians—especially the nearly 900 million registered voters—along with the stock market indices, in a tizzy all day long. In fact, much before the result day, the exit polls (a widely followed system that may project inaccurate number of seats but has a reputation of getting the complete picture right) had predicted a landslide victory and Modi’s second homecoming this time around.

By late afternoon, Prime Minister Modi had tweeted to his followers, “India wins yet again!” and that he promised to build an "inclusive India."

BJP President Amit Shah invoked the oft-used “Phir ek baar, Modi sarkar (Once again, Modi government)” slogan to celebrate the thriving numbers.

BJP supporters from India as well as from across the world have been out on the streets, celebrating throughout the day as well.

Several international political leaders have also tweeted their congratulations to PM Modi.

At the other extreme end of this spectrum is Rahul Gandhi-led INC, which has suffered a blow so crushing that reports suggest the party regrets pushing a youth leader as its prime ministerial candidate, and that the Gandhi family (known for pushing dynastic politics in independent India) may now have to forsake its traditional seat in the party.

*The numbers are based on the current projections as on 6 p.m. (IST), and not the final verdict.