NEW DELHI, MAY 23 (UNI) Completely demolishing opposition challenge, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to return to power at the Centre for a second term with even bigger mandate than 2014.
Available trends by Thursday noon firmly point to a massive electoral victory for the BJP which was led from the front by its star campaigner and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP is ahead on 293 seats while the Congress on 50, marginally better than its 2014 tally of 44 seats. Trends so far are following the predictions made by most of the Exit polls on May 19 favouring BJP-led NDA’s comfortable return to power.
The BJP-led NDA is all set to gain more seats than the last elections by taking its tally to 340 as compared to 336 in 2014, indicating a nation-wide sweep by the BJP.
Mr Modi is poised to turn a new leaf in India’s democratic and electoral history by becoming the first non-Congress Prime Minister to remain firmly saddled in South Block for another five-year term with his party winning the majority in the 17th Lok Sabha on its own. The Prime Minister has called for a meeting of the Union Cabinet on Friday.
The opposition challenge, spearheaded by the Congress, fell by the wayside. The much-touted Mahagathbandhan of Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh was ahead on 19 seats while the BJP was maintaining its lead on 54 seats. In the 2014 elections, the BJP had won 71 seats in U.P. while its ally Apna Dal had picked up two seats.
Making big inroads in West Bengal where Trinamool Congress of chief minister Mamata Banerjee posed a stiff challenge on 42 seats, the BJP was ahead on 18 seats while Trinamool Congress was leading on 24 seats.
The BJP also maintained its firm grip in the crucial Hindi heartland in States like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where it had lost assembly elections to the Congress. Out of 25 seats in Rajasthan, the BJP is ahead on all seats and in Madhya Pradesh the Lotus Party is maintaining its lead on 28 out of 29 seats.
Political bigwigs whose electoral fortunes were facing a bleak future include Jyotiradita Scindia, Ajay Singh and Digvijay Singh from Madhya Pradesh. In U.P., Mayawati’s BSP has made gains with a lead on 12 seats as it had scored big zero in the last elections. The Congress is leading on just one seat of Rai Bareilly in U.P. where UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is the party candidate. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is training by a thin margin in Amethi but leading with a big margin from Waynad seat in Kerala.
In Andhra Pradesh assembly elections, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP is all set to oust N.Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP while in Odisha Biju Janata Dal of Naveen Patnaik is all set to retain power in the State. The BJP had a lone seat in the 16th Lok Sabha from Odisha which is likely to increase to five this time around.