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Lok Sabha Election Results highlights: ‘Mandate to build new India,’ says PM Modi in victory speech

Lok Sabha Election Results highlights: PM Modi and Amit Shah address BJP workers at party office in Delhi

By HT Correspondent | May 24, 2019 07:01 IST
highlights

Results of Lok Sabha elections 2019 shall be out by the end of the day. Counting of votes began at 8 am .

By end of day today, perhaps even earlier, India will have its say on who will administer the country for the next five years .

All exit polls have predicted that the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will return to power. If that happens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the face of the BJP’s campaign, will win a second term in office.

Follow updates here:

4:30 am IST

EC tweets snapshot of party-wise election results

3:30 am IST

‘Happy Rahul ji expressed faith in PM’s leadership’: Smriti Irani

“I’m happy that Rahul ji has expressed faith in PM’s leadership. The people of Amethi have shown their faith in us through votes and I’m thankful to them. I’ve been working with them for 5 yrs after I lost,now I’ll again serve them,but this time after winning,” said BJP’s Smriti Irani.

2:00 am IST

‘People of Ghazipur have given their verdict’: Afzal Ansari

“People of Ghazipur have given their verdict. I welcome this decision. I consider myself blessed,” said SP-BSP candidate Afzal Ansari on defeating Union Minister Manoj Sinha by 119392 votes

12:30 am IST

Union Minister Smriti Irani offers prayers at a temple in Amethi

Union Minister Smriti Irani offers prayers at a temple in Amethi.

 

11:30 pm IST

‘Result against expectations and sentiments of people’: Mayawati

“Today’s result is against the expectations and sentiments of people. Anyway, when all the institutions of the country start bending their knees before the government, the public has to take a stand,” said BSP Supremo Mayawati. :ANI

9:00 PM IST

‘Democracy has won’: PM Modi

“If someone has won, it’s India. India’s democracy has won, its public has won. Therefore, all people from the BJP and NDA with humility dedicate this victory to public. I congratulate all the winners, no matter from which party or which region they contested,” said PM Modi

8:34 pm IST

‘Govt is formed by mandate, run by consensus’: PM Modi

The government is formed by mandate, but the country is run by consensus,” said PM Narendra Modi in his victory speech.

8:28 pm IST

Only two castes in the country: PM Modi

There will be only two castes in the country -- the poor and those contributing to alleviate poverty: PM Modi

8:18 pm IST

Will stand by our ideals and values: PM Modi

“We were not disappointed when we won only 2 seats; we will not leave our humility, ideals and values when we have come back to power,” said PM Modi.

8:01 pm IST

World now needs to recognize power of India’s democracy: PM Modi

“ The world now needs to recognize the power of India’s democracy,” says PM Modi .

7:56 pm IST

‘Bow to 130 crore Indians’, says PM Modi in victory speech

“I bow to 130 crore Indians’, says PM Modi in victory speech after BJP’s massive win.

7:50 pm IST

BJP will establish its might in West Bengal: Amit Shah

“Even after so much violence, BJP won 18 seats in West Bengal. It tells that in coming days, BJP will establish its might in West Bengal,” said Amit Shah.

7:47 pm IST

Had Naidu concentrated on Andhra, it would have been better: Amit Shah

Amit Shah, taking a dig at TDP chief, said it would have been better for Chandrababu Naidu had he concentrated on Andhra Pradesh instead of meeting all Opposition leaders the day after exit polls predicted NDA’s win.

7:45 pm IST

No place for dynasty politics: Amit Shah

“SP-BSP’s defeat shows there no place for dynasty and caste politics in India,” said Amit Shah.

7:44 pm IST

Oppn raised doubts about exit poll predictions: Amit Shah

“People did not like exit polls predictions. These opposition leaders started meeting each other and raised questions over functioning of EVMs,” said Amit Shah.

BJP’s win is against the ‘tukde tukde’ gang’s ideology” he said.

7:39 pm IST

In 50 years, BJP first to win absolute majority: Amit Shah

“BJP is the first party in 50 years that has won a win absolute majority,” said Amit Shah at BJP office

7:35 pm IST

PM Modi is responsible for BJP’s massive victory: Amit Shah

“PM Modi is responsible for BJP’s massive victory. His popularity has ensured BJP’s historic win” said Amit Shah while addressing party workers at BJP headquarters in Delhi.

7:32 pm IST

Amit Shah addresses party workers at BJP office

Amit Shah addresses party workers at BJP office

7:10 pm IST

Respect the mandate given by people, says Priyanka

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for their victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and said the party respects the mandate given by the people of the country.

Speaking to reporters here at the party headquarters, she said: “We respect the mandate of the people and I congratulate Modiji and BJP for the victory.”

7:03 pm IST

PM Modi arrives at BJP office for parliamentary board meeting

PM Narendra Modi has arrived at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.

6:57 pm IST

Results of 49 seats declared, BJP wins 30, Congress bags 10

So far, results of 49 Lok Sabha seats have been declared. The BJP has won 30 seats, Congress has won 10, TRS has got 2,the DMK, JKNC, NCP, LJSP, BSP, and JD (S). have won one each.

Of the remaining 493 constituencies,BJP leading in 272, Congress in 40, AITC in 23, DMK in 22, Shiv Sena in 18, YSRC in 22, BJD in 12, JD(U) in 16 and BSP in 10 constituencies.

6:40 pm IST

PM Modi to reach BJP headquarters for parliamentary board meeting

PM Modi will shortly reach the BJP headquarters in Delhi for a parliamentary board meeting.

6:35 pm IST

PM Modi drops Chowkidar prefix from Twitter handle

“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.

The word ‘Chowkidar’ goes from my Twitter name but it remains an integral part of me. Urging you all to do the same too!,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

6:26 pm IST

Stalin congratulates PM Modi

‘I congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his victory. We hope and wish he will provide a progressive government based on the principles of democracy and inclusivity.

With folded hands, we accept the resounding victory given to the DMK alliance by the people of Tamil Nadu. During the next five years, we will work hard to fulfil the promises made and protect the interest of our state!” said DMK’s MK Stalin.

6:21 pm IST

Results of 34 seats declared, BJP wins 22, Congress wins 7

34 results been declared of which 22 have gone to BJP and seven to the Congress,one each to DMK, JKNC, NCP, TRS and JD (S). Of the remaining 508 constituencies ,BJP is leading in 282, while the Congress is ahead in 43, AITC in 23, DMK in 22,Shiv Sena in 19, YSRC in 22, BJD in 12, JD(U) in 16 and BSP in 10 constituencies.

6:18 pm IST

Farooq Abdullah wins from Srinagar

“BJP candidate, Bandi Sanjay Kumar has won from Karimnagar, Telangana.

Jammu & Kashmir National Conference candidate, Farooq Abdullah has won from Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar,” tweeted EC.

6:10 pm IST

Results of 16 seats declared, BJP wins 14

“16 results have been declared of which 14 have gone to BJP and one each to INC and JD (Secular). Of the remaining 526 constituencies, BJP is leading in 288, INC in 50, AITC in 23, DMK in 23, Shiv Sena in 18, YSRC in 23, BJD in 13, JD(U) in 16 and BSP in 11 constituencies,” tweeted the Election Commission.

5:50 pm IST

Smriti Irani has won in Amethi, I congratulate her: Rahul Gandhi

“Smriti Irani has won in Amethi, I want to congratulate Smriti Irani for winning. Amethi has chosen her. I would want that she takes care of it with love and responsibility,” said Rahul Gandhi while addressing the media.

5:50 pm IST

Don’t want to colour the decision of people: Rahul Gandhi

“Today is the day of mandate and I don’t want to colour the decision of people,” said Rahul Gandhi while addressing a press conference.

5:45 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi addresses media

“It’s people’s verdict”, says Rahul Gandhi and congratulates PM Modi and the BJP.

5:35 pm IST

‘Narendra Modi’s second term not a fluke’: Omar Abdullah

National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah Thursday said the country has rejected an alternative to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “second term” is not a “fluke”.

A vocal critic of Modi-led NDA government, Abdullah also requested the BJP leader to “take everyone along” in the coming five years as “this country belongs to all”.

“We fought the election and tried to have an alternative to the BJP and the NDA and put it before the country. The country did not accept it. The reality is that the places from where we were expecting the opposition to win, the number of seats from there has come down rather than going up,” Abdullah told reporters.

5:20 pm IST

Pak PM congratulates Modi

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated PM Narendra Modi. “I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” he said.

5:20 pm IST

‘Thank you India’, tweets PM Modi

“Thank you India! The faith placed in our alliance is humbling and gives us strength to work even harder to fulfil people’s aspirations.

I salute every BJP Karyakarta for their determination, perseverance & hardwork. They went home to home, elaborating on our development agenda,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

5:20 pm IST

As Mehbooba Mufti loses from South Kashmir, PDP could face existential threat

Peoples Democratic Party which had won three seats from Valley in last Lok Sabha polls faced defeat on all the three seats, even party president, Mehbooba Mufti lost her first election from south Kashmir as she stood third in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.

For the PDP, the loss in South Kashmir which was considered its political bastion could be an existential threat, especially when many leaders had already left the party after the coalition government fell in last June. The loss from all the three seats could trigger further dissensions within the party’s rank and file. The only silver lining for the party was that its candidate from Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Syed Mohsin who is a prominent Shia leader stood runner up, however, the margin of loss to NC president Farooq Abdullah was more than 60,000 votes.

5:10 pm IST

‘Just a stepping stone in political journey’: Urmila Matondkar

“ This is just a stepping stone in my political journey. I will take this defeat sportingly and will continue my political journey. I have enjoyed every bit of the process and will keep working for the party in future,” said Congress’ Mumbai-North Lok Sabha seat candidate Urmila Matondkar.

5:05 pm IST

Winning & losing integral part of electoral politics: Siddaramaiah

“Winning & losing is an integral part of our electoral politics & this is the beauty of democratic process.

Though the loss was unexpected, we humbly accept people’ mandate

I thank all those who supported our candidates & our fight will continue,” tweeted former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah.

5:00 pm IST

BJP leads with heavy margin in all 5 seats in Uttarakhand

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in all five Lok Sabha constituencies with heavy margin in Uttarakhand. Poll analyst claim, unlike last polls, this election, voting share of the saffron party will cross 50%.

The party swept 2014 general election wining all five seats. The overall vote percentage of BJP was 34.1% followed by Congress with 21%, Bahujan Samaj party (BSP) with 2.9%, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with 1.0% while others bagged 41%. But, poll analyst claim BJP will get at least 50% vote share.

“BJP’s campaign strategy, connect and above all Modi wave has lead to party’s success not only in Uttarakhand, but across the country. In the state, it should be able to cross at least 50% vote share, leaving remaining 50% for rest of the parties,” Jay Singh Rawat, a poll analyst in Dehradun said.

4:55 pm IST

After Nehru and Indira, Modi is only PM to come back to power with full majority

After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Narendra Modi is the third prime minister of the country who has been able to retain power for a second term with full majority in Lok Sabha.

As counting goes on across the country on Thursday, trends show the Modi-led BJP would be easily able to cross the halfway mark of 272 seats in the 17th Lok Sabha elections.

In 2014, the BJP had won 282 seats out of total 543 in Lok Sabha.

Jawaharlal Nehru won around three-fourth of the Lok Sabha seats in the first elections in the country during 1951-52. Subsequently, he was able to win 1957 elections as well as 1962 elections with full majority.

4:40 pm IST

‘Alert voters’ rejected casteist politics of mahagathbandhan’: Yogi Adityanath

As the BJP marched towards a grand victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Thursday said “alert voters” have rejected the ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) of opposition parties.

“It is high time for the opposition to introspect and shun politics of negativity,” Adityanath told PTI.

The chief minister said that “alert voters have rejected opportunistic and casteist politics of the mahagathbandhan”.

4:35 pm IST

Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath must resign, says BJP

Buoyed by encouraging trends of the vote count for the Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh, BJP Chief Rakesh Singh on Thursday asked Chief Minister Kamal Nath to resign on moral grounds.

“The BJP is leading on 28 of the 29 seats in the state. Congress bigwigs are losing the elections. In such a situation, the Congress does not have the moral authority to stay in power and Chief Minister Kamal Nath must resign from his post,” Singh told reporters at the party headquarters, as reported by news agency IANS.

4:30 pm IST

BJP leads in 5 of 6 results declared: EC

“Six results have been declared of which 5 have gone to BJP and one to INC. Of the remaining 536 constituencies, BJP is leading in 294, INC in 50, AITC in 23, DMK in 23, Shiv Sena in 18, YSRC in 23, BJD in 14, JD(U) in 15 and BSP in 11 constituencies,” tweeted Election Commission.

4:27 pm IST

Patna Sahib throws up a decisive mandate: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union law and justice, electronics and information and technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the people of his constituency in Patna Sahib had given Prime Minister Narendra Modi a decisive mandate that was in sync with the wave blowing across the state and the country.

Prasad, a first-time Lok Sabha candidate of the BJP from Patna Sahib, defeated Shatrughan Sinha, who crossed over to the Congress after two successive wins in 2009 and 2014.

Speaking to newspersons, Prasad said the fight in Patna Sahib was one of “hope” versus “opportunism”.

“On one hand, there was hope that the country would progress and flourish under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. On the other hand, was an opportunistic alliance of political parties, which made up the Grand Alliance (GA),” he said.

4:16 pm IST

Mehbooba Mufti concedes defeat from Anantnag

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti conceded defeat on Thursday in the election to the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat after trailing in the third place, behind the National Conference’s (NC) Hasnain Masoodi, who has taken a lead of 7,600 votes over Jammu and Kashmir Congress president G A Mir.

Masoodi, a retired high court judge, was leading Mir by 7,600 votes with 18,000 votes to be counted, election officials said.

Mehbooba, who had won the Anantnag seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, was at the third spot, 11,700 votes behind Masoodi.

4:12 pm IST

LK Advani congratulates PM Narendra Modi

“Heartiest congratulations to Narendrabhai Modi for steering BJP towards this unprecedented victory in elections. Amitbhai Shah as BJP President and all dedicated workers of the party have put in enormous effort in making sure that BJP’s message reaches every voter. It’s such a wonderful feeling that in a country as large and diverse as India, electoral process has been so successfully completed and for that, my compliments to the electorate and all the agencies involved. May our great nation be blessed with a bright future ahead,” tweeted veteran BJP leader LK Advani.

4:00 pm IST

With 100% strike rate, Nitish Kumar seals position as leader No.1 in Bihar

In 2017, when Nitish Kumar decided to part ways with the grand alliance in Bihar, he perhaps read the writing on the wall for what was to come for his Janata Dal (United) by the time the general elections were to be held two years later.

Counting trends suggest Kumar’s party has secured all 17 Lok Sabha seats it fielded its candidates on, reiterating the JD(U)’s track record of successful poll alliances.

3:55 pm IST

Congress’ Dikshit, Maken face defeat as BJP looks to sweep all 7 Delhi seats

The Bhartiya Janta Party is leading in all the seven parliamentary constituencies of Delhi, pushing Congress heavyweights like Sheila Dikshit and Ajay Maken towards defeat.

As per the Election Commission website, all BJP candidates have comfortable leads in all the seven seats ensuring victory for the party.

In North East Delhi, the sitting MP and chief of Delhi BJP unit, Manoj Tiwari, is leading by over 2.5 lakh votes against the three-time former chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Earlier today, Tiwari told ANI that his party will come back to power with more than 350 seats.

Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir of BJP is leading by over 2 lakh votes in East Delhi, leaving behind Arvinder Singh Lovely of Congress and Atishi of AAP. The poll campaign in East Delhi was marred with controversies with the Atishi accusing Gambhir of distributing defamatory pamphlets against her.

3:45 pm IST

Amit Shah receives grand welcome at BJP headquarters

As the party is headed for a massive win, BJP national chief Amit Shah received a grand welcome at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.

3:30 pm IST

People’s mandate against Opposition’s propaganda: Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah Thursday hailed the BJP’s superb showing in the Lok Sabha polls as “victory of India” and said it is people’s mandate against the Opposition’s propaganda and personal attacks as well as their total rejection of politics of dynasty, appeasement and casteism. In a series of tweets, Shah said this victory is a “win of people’s confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

“Today’s result is India’s mandate against Opposition’s propaganda, lies, personal insinuations and baseless politics. It is also people’s mandate who have chosen development and nationalism and rejected casteism, dynasty and appeasement,” Shah said.

3:25 pm IST

Feel like batsman who has scored century while his team has lost: Tharoor

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who seemed headed for a win from Thiruvananthapuram, said he feels like a batsman who has scored a century while his team has lost.

Tharoor’s remarks came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party towards what looks set to be a resounding victory for a second term in office.

“As my lead nears 50,000 with 72 per cent counted, I feel like a batsman who has scored a century while his team has lost! It’s a bittersweet emotion I will take some time to reflect on,” Tharoor tweeted.

Tharoor, who is eyeing a third straight win from Thiruvananthapuram, was leading by 48,731 votes over his nearest rival of the BJP.

3:22 pm IST

‘I accept people’s decision’: Sharad Pawar

“I accept people’s decision but this is also a fact that people had their doubts about EVMs. Congress had performed really well during Rajiv Gandhi’s time, but nobody doubted elections then, same was the case when Atal Bihari Vajpayee won,” said NCP chief Sharad Pawar as quoted by news agency ANI.

3:10 pm IST

Chinese President Xi congratulates PM Modi

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday was among the first world leaders to congratulate, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on the NDA winning the 17th Lok Sabha election under his leadership.

In a letter addressed to Modi, which was dispatched even before NDA’s electoral victory was officially announced, Xi conveyed his “heart-felt congratulations” to Modi on the victory.

“As important neighbours to each other, China and India are the two largest developing countries and emerging economies in the world,” Xi wrote.

“On the occasion of the National Democratic Alliance winning the 17th Lok Sabha of India under your leadership, I would like to extend my heart-felt congratulations,” Xi wrote in Chinese in the letter addressed to Modi.

2:55 pm IST

Vladimir Putin sends congratulatory telegram to PM

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory telegram to PM Narendra Modi in connection “with the convincing victory of the BJP at the general parliamentary elections.”

2:45 pm IST

‘India wins yet again’, tweets PM Modi

As BJP heads for big win, PM Narenrda Modi tweeted that it is yet another win for India.

2:40 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi trails by over 10,000 votes in Amethi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is facing a tough battle in Amethi as BJP rival Smriti Irani is leading from the seat. He is trailing by over 10,000 votes, as per data available on the Election Commission’s website.

2:35 pm IST

Shashi Tharoor set for a hatrick

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor is set for a hatrick. Two-time sitting MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Tharror is leading with over 40,000 votes as counting for results of Lok Sabha elections 2019 is on.

2:30 pm IST

Amit Shah is Man of the Match in skipper Modi’s record victory

One must give it to 91-year-old Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch Prakash Singh Badal to recognize BJP president Amit Shah as the rising star of the BJP after its indomitable leader Narendra Modi as their National Democratic Alliance sweeps back to power in 2019.

Before Amit Shah filed his nomination from Gandhinagar on March 30, he received a call from Badal saying that as the BJP has to prepare for the future, he should call all the NDA allies for a show of strength before he files his papers. The 54-year-old BJP president instinctively rebuffed the idea and wanted to go with 11 of his supporters to file his papers for the Gandhinagar seat.

2:25 pm IST

Rajinikanth congratulates PM Modi

2:21 pm IST

Sonia, Priyanka head to meet Rahul Gandhi as Congress stares at big defeat

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi are headed to meet party president Rahul Gandhi at his residence as Congress stares at defeat, reported news agency ANI.

Priyanka Gandhi was made in-charge of the party’s fortunes in eastern Uttar Pradesh, but despite her high-octane election campaign Congress is ahead on just one seat- her mother Sonia Gandhi from Raebareli.

Rahul Gandhi is facing a tough battle in Amethi as BJP rival Smriti Irani is leading from the seat, though by a slim margin. However, he is leading from Kerala’s Wayanad.

2:17 pm IST

Bucking anger against CAB, BJP and allies set to conquer Northeast

As protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) was raging in Assam and several other states in the north-east in January and February this year, several political experts predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was likely to face an uphill battle in the region in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The protests forced the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) not to table the legislation, which sought to give citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, in the Rajya Sabha.

But on Thursday, as trends from the 24 seats in the seven states in the region (except Sikkim) trickled in, it appeared that the apparent anger against CAB did not have any impact on the BJP’s political prospects in the region. As of noon, four hours after counting started, the BJP and its allies were leading in 19 of the 24 seats.

If the trend continues, the north-east would play a crucial part in the NDA retaining power in New Delhi in 2019. In 2014, the BJP won eight seats (seven in Assam and one in Arunachal Pradesh) in the region, while its allies won two.

2:15 pm IST

Mixed bag for DMK; AIADMK set to stay on in power in Tamil Nadu

Making a near clean sweep in the Lok Sabha election, the opposition DMK is on the road to win 37 of the 38 parliamentary constituencies for which elections were held as counting continued across the country.

However, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s ambition of dislodging the AIADMK government of Edappadi K Palaniswami appears to be distant as the ruling party is ahead in ten of the 22 assembly segments for which by-polls were also held.

Polling for Vellore Lok Sabha seat was cancelled by the Election Commission following a large scale distribution of cash and seizure of a huge amount of money.

2:10 pm IST

BJP makes deep cuts in Mamata’s bastion; leads in 16 seats

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made deep inroads in West Bengal, increasing its vote share by more than 20 percentage points from 17.02% in 2014 to about 39% (till 1 pm) and was leading in 16 of Bengal’s 42 seats against their 2014 tally of only two seats.

Though ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) increased its vote share by about 5 percentage points to about 45% (till 1 pm) from 39.79% (in 2014), the party was leading in 25 seats against their tally of 34 five years ago.

2:08 pm IST

KCR congratulates PM Modi, Jagan Reddy for poll victories

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Thursday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the spectacular victory of BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha polls.

He wished that the country march ahead under the leadership of Modi, a release from the Chief Minister’s office said.

Rao hailed the victory of YSR Congress in the Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh.

2:05 pm IST

Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates PM Modi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday became the first world leader to congratulate his counterpart Narendra Modi for scripting an “impressive victory” in the general elections and vowed to strengthen their “great friendship” as well as bilateral ties.

Riding on a massive Modi wave sweeping through most parts of India, the BJP was set to return to power Thursday as it led in 292 seats while the Congress trailed far behind with 51, according to trends released by the Election Commission for all 542 seats that went to polls.

“Sincerely greetings to you, my friend @Narendramodi, for your impressive victory in the elections!,” Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew and Hindi.

1:25 pm IST

‘Not all losers are losers’: Mamata Banerjee

“Congratulations to the winners. But all losers are not losers. We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all. Let the counting process be completed fully and the VVPATs matched,” tweeted West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

1:22 pm IST

BJP leads on all seats in MP except Chhindwara

The BJP is leading in 28 of the 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and if the trends continue, the saffron party will better its 2014 result where it had won 27 of the 29 seats.

The lone seat where the Congress is leading is Chhindwara, where Nakul Nath, son of chief minister Kamal Nath is leading by 38,000 votes.

The reversal for the Congress comes barely six months after it narrowly won the Assembly elections to form the government, ending 15 year BJP rule in the state. The Congress had won 114 seats and it formed the government with support of four independents, two BSP and one independent. The BJP had won 109 seats.

In the high profile Bhopal seat, Pragya Thakur of BJP is leading against former chief minister Digvijay Singh by over 90,000 votes. Both minister Narendra Singh Tomar from Morena and Virendra Kumar from Tikamgarh were also leading.

1:20 pm IST

‘Bring on the next 5 years’: Omar Abdullah congratulates Modi, Amit Shah

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Thursday credited PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah with running a very ‘professional campaign’ soon after vote counting leads made it clear that the BJP was heading towards a convincing win in the Lok Sabha elections.

“So the exit polls were correct. All that’s left is to congratulate the BJP & NDA for a stellar performance. Credit where credit is due PM Modi Sahib & Mr Amit Shah put together a winning alliance & a very professional campaign. Bring on the next five years,” the former chief minister of Kashmir tweeted.

The counting leads projected that BJP was set to win 346 seats, UPA 91, BSP-SP 19 and Others 86 in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Elections were cancelled in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore.

The BJP alone is leading in 292 seats, well over the halfway mark of 272, and if the party wins all of these, it will improve upon its 2014 tally of 282.

1:10 pm IST

AAP congratulates PM

The AAP on Thursday congratulated the BJP for its victory and said it hopes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would do “good work” in his future tenure.

The BJP was leading in all the seven seats in the national capital, with three of its candidates ahead by over one lakh votes, while the Congress and the AAP were trailing at the second spot in five and two seats respectively.

“In democracy, mandate of the people is considered to be very powerful. We respect the mandate of India and congratulate the BJP for its victory. We offer Prime Minister Narendra Modi best wishes for his future tenure. We hope he would do good work in his future tenure,” Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Saurabh Bharwaj said.

1:05 pm IST

PM Modi’s mother greets supporters amid slogans of ‘Har, Har Modi’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nearly 99-year-old mother Heeraben Modi on Thursday greeted the BJP’s supporters outside her home in Gandhinagar of Gujarat as the party looked set to sweep the Lok Sabha election.

News agency ANI tweeted a 19-second video of Heeraben outside her house surrounded by relatives as people were heard shouting the slogans of “Har, Har Modi” and “Modi Sahab Aap Aage Chalo, Hum Tumhare Saath Hain” and “Vande Mataram”.

Prime Minister Modi was leading in Varanasi by a margin of 169,000 votes, according to Election Commission trends as the BJP and its ally Apna Dal surged ahead of their rivals in 58 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

12:52 pm IST

BJP workers celebrate across country

After observing the trends of results of Lok Sabha elections 2019, BJP workers across the country are celebrating. Here are a few visuals

BJP Party workers celebrate in Navi Mumbai ( Bachchan Kumar/HT Photo )
BJP supporters celebrates as the party candidates lead in West Bengal during Lok Sabha election counting. ( Arijit Sen/HT Photo )

12:44 pm IST

Urmila Matondkar trails in Mumbai-North seats, alleges EVM discrepancy

Congress’ Mumbai-North Lok Sabha seat candidate Urmila Matondkar on Thursday alleged that there was a mismatch in signatures on an electronic voting machine (EVM) form.

The actor, who was trailing against BJP’s Gopal Shetty by over 1,45,991 votes, said a complaint was filed with the Election Commission in this connection.

“On the form of EVM 17C from Magathane, the signatures and the machine numbers are different. A complaint has been filed with the Election Commission,” she said in a tweet.

Also read: BJP makes inroads in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal

12:37 pm IST

Historic victory is outcome of Modi’s visionary leadership: Rajnath Singh

With early trends indicating BJP’s return to power, senior leader and Home Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday termed it “historic” and credited it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “astute” leadership and party chief Amit Shah’s “dynamism”.

In a series of tweets, Singh said the people of India have once again given a decisive mandate to the BJP-led NDA and reposed their faith in Modi’s leadership and vision of New India.

12:35 pm IST

NDA heads for massive victory in Bihar

The NDA was heading for a massive victory in Bihar where it was leading in 38 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The BJP and the JD(U) which contested 17 seats each were leading in 16 seats each. Another NDA ally, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP was leading in all six seats it contested.

The Opposition’s Grand Alliance where the RJD and the Congress were the dominant partners failed to make any impact.

The Lok Sabha election results will set the stage for another electoral battle in Bihar a year later, when chief minister Nitish Kumar will seek his seventh term.

12:30 pm IST

Mehbooba Mufti drops to third position in Anantnag seat

National Conference’s (NC) Hasnain Masoodi is leading from Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag seat while former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti dropped down to the third position as of 11:30 am on Thursday.

Indian National Congress’ Ghulam Ahmad Mir is in the second spot and is giving a tough fight to the NC candidate in the counting phase.

BJP has taken a lead in Jammu and Udhampur seats while NC’s Farooq Abdullah is leading from Srinagar constituency, his fellow party leader is also in the lead from Baramulla seat.

12:24 pm IST

Congress leads in Punjab

Punjab appears to be the only silver lining for the Congress which is facing a rout in north region states as the BJP candidates have raced ahead of their rivals in most constituencies in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

The state’s ruling Congress is leading in eight of the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies. In the early trends for counting of votes, the BJP and its alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), are leading in two seats each, whereas the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is ahead in one seat.

12:22 pm IST

BJP Parliamentary board meet today, PM Modi to meet workers

BJP Parliamentary board meeting is going to be held later today. PM Modi will meet BJP workers at party office at 5.30 pm today.

12:20 pm IST

GST, demonetisation had no impact on the ground

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) performance in both urban and rural constituencies across the country prove that the 2016 invalidation of high-value banknotes and the 2017 introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) did not have a negative impact on the party’s political prospects.

Even though the Congress and some Opposition parties raised the two issues throughout the campaign, but the results show that they failed to reap any political benefit out of it.

12:15 pm IST

In Goa, BJP loses Parrikar’s seat to Congress

After 25 years of uninterrupted run, the BJP on Thursday failed to retain the Panaji Assembly constituency, largely represented by late Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar since 1994.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Sidharth Kuncalienkar lost to Congress’ Atanasio Monserrate by 1,758 votes. Monserrate polled 8,748 votes against Kuncalienkar’s 6,990 votes.

AAP’s Valmiki Naik and Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) candidate Subhash Velingkar polled 236 and 516 votes respectively.

12:13 pm IST

Union Minister Gen VK Singh leads from Ghaziabad

Union Minister Gen VK Singh is currently leading with over 50,000 votes from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad

12:08 pm IST

It’s victory of nationalism: J-K BJP

Amid overwhelming trends in favour of the BJP, the party’s Jammu and Kashmir chief, Ravinder Raina, said Thursday it is victory of nationalism in the country.

Celebrations have started at the BJP state headquarters here as supporters chanted slogans and distributed sweets amid drums beats and bursting of firecrackers.

“It is a vote for nationalism in the battle of nationalists and ‘anti-nationalists’. It is a victory of the country’s people. It is a victory of nationalism,” Raina told reporters here.

Raina said the country’s 130 crore people have expressed full faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and given a befitting reply to the “mahamilawati” conglomeration led by the Congress. “This election was between the idea of Bharat and the idea of terrorism-launching-pad Pakistan,” he claimed. “It is the victory of India and Modi ji and his strong and bold steps on all fronts,” he said.

12:01 pm IST

2019 more like 1977 and 1980 than 2014 elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has firmly established itself as the dominant pole of Indian politics in the 2019 general elections.

If the current trends hold , the 2019 verdict will have a close resemblance to the results of the 1977 and 1980 elections in terms of the dominance of one political party in India. Data scarped from the Election Commission of India (ECI) website shows that at 11:03 am, around 19% of the total votes had been counted in the country. The BJP is leading in 288 parliamentary constituencies (PCs) with a vote share of around 40%, nine percentage points more than what it had in 2014.

11:55 am IST

NDA leading in 38 seats, RJD in 2 seats in Bihar

In Bihar, the BJP-led NDA is leading in 38 seats of the 40 Lok Sabha seats while the RJD is ahead in two seats, according to Election Commission trends.

The BJP and JD(U) are leading in 16 seats each while the LJP is leading in six seats.

The RJD, a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ constituent, is leading in two seats of Jehanabad and Pataliputra.

Prominent NDA faces who are leading include- Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad (Patna Sahib), Radha Mohan Singh (Purvi Champaran), Giriraj Singh (Begusarai), RK Singh (Ara), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Buxar) Rajiv Pratap Rudy (Saran), Chirag Paswan (Jamui), Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Kumar Paras (Hajipur) are also among the NDA candidates who are leading.

11:50 am IST

In Odisha, BJD ahead in 12 seats

Out of 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidates are ahead in 12 seats while the BJP is leading in nine constituencies as per initial trends, officials said Thursday.

In Aska Lok Sabha seat BJD candidate Pramila Bisoi is leading against her nearest BJP rival Anita Subahdarshini by 17,404 votes.

BJD candidate Rabindra Kumar Jena was leading by 262 votes in Balaslore Lok Sabha seat.

11:45 am IST

BJP takes lead in 9 Assam seats

The BJP is currently ahead in nine of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam, while its ally Asom Gana Parishad is leading in two seats, according to the Election Commission trends.

The saffron party has conceded three seats to its allies this time - two to the AGP and one to the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).

In Kaliabor, AGP’s Moni Madhab Mahanta is leading by 11233 votes against Congress candidate Gaurav Gogoi.

Gogoi had bagged the seat in 2014 by 93874 votes.

11:40 am IST

BJP ahead in all four seats in Himachal Pradesh

The ruling BJP is surging ahead in all four Lok Sabha seats of Himachal Pradesh, with its candidates securing unassailable leads, according to latest Election Commission trends.

In Mandi, the sitting BJP MP Ram Swaroop is leading by over 154418 votes over his nearest rival Aashray Sharma of the Congress.

BJP candidate Kishan Kapoor was leading by 201699 votes over his nearest rival Pawan Kajal of Congress in Kangra, a state election officer said.

11:35 am IST

In Uttar Pradesh, BJP ahead in 58 seats

The BJP forged ahead of its rivals in 58 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh while the BSP-SP alliance was leading in 19 seats as counting of votes progressed, according to Election Commission trends.

In Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was leading by over 55,000 votes against his SP rival.

In the high-profile Amethi seat, BJP’s Smriti Irani established an early lead of 1,931 votes against sitting MP and Congress president Rahul Gandhi while UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was leading in neighbouring Rae Bareli by over 17,000 votes.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was leading against his nearest SP rival Poonam Sinha and in Lucknow.

The Bahujan Samaj Party was leading in 11 and the Samajwadi Party in eight while the Congress was ahead in one and the Apna Dal (Soneylal) in one.

11:30 am IST

DMK’s Stalin emerges from Karunanidhi’s shadow with emphatic lead

For a long time MK Stalin, who even at the age of 64 was the youth president of the DMK, would be privately sneered at by rivals – internal and external – for failing to emerge from the shadows of his larger than life father M Karunanidhi.

Even in 2016, while the election was led by Stalin as Karunanidhi was ailing, the unexpected defeat in the assembly polls to the AIADMK then led by J Jayalalithaa meant that the blame was laid at his feet.

Early trends indicated that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led alliance, which includes the Congress, was leading in 34 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in the southern state. This emphatic win of the alliance led by Stalin, who is fondly called Thalapathi (commander in Tamil), has stamped his hold on the party.

11:26 am IST

BJP leading in all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi

BJP is leading the trends in all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, with the Congress trailing in five constituencies and the AAP in two seats, poll officials said, reported news agency PTI.

11:15 am IST

Hema Malini leads from Mathura seat

Hema Malini, who is the sitting MP and BJP candidate from Mathura, is currently leading by 22,893 votes against nearest rival and SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate Kunwar Narendra Singh, reported news agency PTI.

11:05 am IST

Pragya Thakur leads in MP’s Bhopal

BJP’s Pragya Thakur is currently leading in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, while Congress’s Digvijaya Singh is trailing.

Pragya Thakur was named the BJP’s candidate from Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal in a surprise choice against the Congress’ former chief minister Digvijaya Singh. She is facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case where six people died and at least 100 were injured.

The 49-year old has been under fire for several of her controversial comments against several people, including former chief of the Mumbai anti-terrorist squad Hemant Karkare.

11:00 am IST

Rahul Gandhi trails in Amethi

After making a comeback, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is again in a tight race with BJP candidate Smriti Irani in Amethi, as per data available on Election Commission’s website.

10:52 am IST

Farooq Abdullah, Jitendra Singh lead in early trends in Jammu and Kashmir

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, BJP leader Jitendra Singh and Congress state president G A Mir were leading in their respective constituencies in the early trends of counting of votes for Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir Thursday.

According to election officials, Abdullah was leading over PDP candidate Aga Syed Mohsin by a slender margin of 80 votes while Singh had opened a substantial lead of over 4000 votes over his Congress rival Vikramaditya Singh.

10:45 am IST

Sensex hits 40,000 mark for first-time

The Sensex hit 40,000 mark for the first-time as leads show BJP alliance ahead in over 300 seats.

10:40 am IST

BJP-Shiv Sena alliance leads in Maharashtra

The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra was leading in more than 40 seats with the Congress-NCP combine ahead in six constituencies, according to initial trends as votes were being counted for the Lok Sabha election on Thursday.

Counting for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state began at 8am. Maharashtra went to polls in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29 and 867 candidates were in the fray in this election. The voter turnout this year was 60.80%, up from 60.32% in 2014.

Maharashtra, which has the second highest number of 48 Lok Sabha seats in the country after Uttar Pradesh’s 80, added to the sizeable chunk of the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA’s) 300-plus victory in the last general election.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari was leading by 3,066 votes in Nagpur, while Union minister Subhash Bhamre was leading in Dhule by 13,128 votes, initial trends suggested.

10:20 am IST

BJP surging ahead in Rajasthan

The BJP was ahead in 23 seats in Rajasthan while its alliance party RLP and the Congress were leading in one seat each, according to Election Commission trends.

The BJP had contested 4 seats and its alliance partner Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) headed by former BJP leader Hanuman Beniwal, contested one seat. Of the total 25 seats, the Congress is leading in only one seat of Bharatpur, according to the Election Commission.

10:18 am IST

NCP’s Parth Pawar leads in Maharashtra’s Maval , Amol Kolhe trailing

Parth Pawar, the grand-nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, is leading in Maval Lok Sabha seat of Maharashtra, as per initial trends available.

Parth, son of former state deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, is leading by 1,173 votes over Shiv Sena’s sitting MP Shrirang Barne.

In Shirur, NCP nominee Amol Kolhe is leading by 2,890 votes over Shiv Sena’s sitting MP Shivaji Adhalrao Patil.

10:15 am IST

Rahul Gandhi leads in Amethi

Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi regained his lead over Union minister Smriti Irani in Amethi after he trailed her for some time shortly after counting began Thursday.

The fight to retain the family bastion of Amethi has been one of the fiercest of contests of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

With the SP-BSP alliance staying out of the contest in Amethi, Rahul faced a straight contest from Union minister Smiriti Irani who accused him of shifting to Wayanad (Kerala) for fear of losing in Amethi that he had represented since 2004.

10:10 am IST

In Gujarat, BJP leads in 4 seats, Congress ahead in 1

he BJP is leading in four of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, including Gandhinagar where party president Amit Shah is contesting, while the Congress is ahead in one seat, as per initial trends.

Shah is ahead by over 19,000 votes against his nearest rival and Congress candidate C J Chavda, after counting of first round, election officials said.

10:05 am IST

Huge gains for BJP in Karnataka in early rounds

In the early rounds of counting for the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state on Thursday, the Bharatiya Janata Party was leading in 23 seats till 9.50 am.

Three Congress veterans Mallikarjun Kharge (from Gulbarga), KH Muniyappa (from Kolar) and M Veerappa Moily (from Chikkaballapur) were all trailing their rivals from the BJP.

In Bengaluru, the Congress led in the North and Central constituencies, whereas the BJP’s Tejasvi Surya amassed a significant lead over his rival BK Hariprasad of the BJP in the Bengaluru South constituency.

Elsewhere, both of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s grandsons -- Prajwal Revanna (from Hassan) and NIkhil Kumaraswamy (from Mandya) -- were leading in their respective constituencies, even as the patriarch himself was trailing by a slender margin.

10:00 am IST

Congress-UDF leads in all 20 seats in Kerela

Opposition Congress led UDF is ahead in all the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, as per the initial trends released by the Election Commission.

In the prestigious Wayanad constituency, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, is ahead by 34,989 votes against his nearest rival P P Suneer of the CPI.

The NDA candidate Thushar Vellapally is trailing far behind.

Former Union minister and sitting Thiruvananthapuram MP, Shashi Tharoor s ahead of his rival Kummanam Rajashekaran of the BJP by 2,452 votes.

9:55 am IST

Union minister Jayant Sinha leading in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh

Union Minister and sitting BJP MP Jayant Sinha is leading by 6,486 votes against his nearest Congress rival Gopal Prasad Sahu from Hazaribagh Lok Sabha seat as per initial trends, officials said.

BJP’s sitting MP Vishnu Dayal Ram is leading by 9,450 votes against his nearest RJD rival Ghuran Ram in Palamau (SC) Lok Sabha constituency after the third round counting, they said. In Khunti Lok Sabha seat Kali Charan Munda of the Congress is leading against his nearest BJP rival and former chief minister Arjun Munda by 1,113 votes.

BJP candidate Annapurna Devi is leading by 8,031 votes against her nearest JVM(P) candidate and former chief minister Babulal Marandi. Bidyut Baran Mahato of the BJP is leading against his nearest JMM rival Champai Soren by 6,618 votes in the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat, officials said.

9:50 am IST

BJP ahead in Uttar Pradesh, SP-BSP alliance close second

The BJP-led NDA is ahead on 35 seats in early trends as counting of votes began at 8 am for the the Lok Sabha election on Thursday with the SP-BSP combine at close second with 27 seats , in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh that send 80 lawmakers to Lok Sabha.

Among the alliance partners, Mayawati’s BSP is marginally ahead with 15 seats against Akhilesh Yadav’s SP with 12 seats.

The BJP and ally Apna Dal won an unprecedented 73 seats in 2014 and the Congress two, the Samajwadi Party five in the politically-crucial state. The Bahujan Samaj Party did not win a single seat in the last general election.

9:48 am IST

BJP’s Anant Kumar Hegde leads in Karnataka’s Uttar Kannada

Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde of the BJP was leading by 20,178 votes against Anand Asnotikar of the JD(S) in Karnataka’s Uttar Kannada constituency as votes were counted in the Lok Sabha election on Thursday.

Ananth Kumar Hegde is a five-time MP from the Uttara Kannada constituency, which is mostly a BJP bastion since 1996.

9:46 am IST

Result trends at 9:41 am

9:45 am IST

DMK front surges ahead in Tamil Nadu

The DMK and its allies were leading in over 10 Parliamentary constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan was trailing in Kanyakumari, according to trends available from the Election Commission.

While DMK surged ahead in Tirunelveli, its ally MDMK and Congress were leading in Erode and Virudhunagar respectively, according to the Election Commission.

Former Union Minister and senior DMK leader A Raja was leading in the Nilgiris, and sitting Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi was ahead in Tuticorin, while their colleagues had the edge in Arakkonam, Cuddalore, Salem, Tenkasi and Perambalur.

Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan is trailing Congress candidate H Vasanthakumar in Kanyakumari by a slender margin of a little over 7,757 votes.

9:42 am IST

BJP ahead in Haryana, Cong’s Hooda trails in Sonipat

Barring Rohtak, the BJP was ahead in all remaining nine seats in Haryana where early Election Commission trends were available Thursday.

Union Ministers Rao Inderjit Singh (Gurgaon) and Krishan Pal Gurjar (Faridabad) were ahead in their respective constituencies.

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress was trailing in Sonipat. Hooda was trailing behind sitting MP Ramesh Chander Kaushik by a margin of 1,115 votes, as per early trends given by the Election Commission.

However, the former CM’s son and sitting MP from Rohtak, Deepender Singh Hooda was leading over his nearest BJP rival Arvind Sharma from Rohtak.

Of the 10 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP, which is the ruling party in the state, was leading in nine seats.

9:40 am IST

NDA leads in 209 seats, UPA in 105

The BJP-led NDA is currently leading in 2019 Lok Sabha seats while the UPA is ahead in 105 constituencies.

9:35 am IST

Babul Supriyo leading from Bengal’s Asansol

Union minister Babul Supriyo of the BJP is leading by 3448 votes against Moon Moon Sen of All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) from Asansol Lok Sabha seat, as per initial Election Commission trends.

In Coochbehar Lok Sabha seat, Nishith Pramanik of the BJP is leading by 1225 votes against AITC candidate Paresh Chandra Adhikary .

BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee is leading by 2175 votes over AITC candidate Ratna De Nag in Hoogly parliamentary constituency, the trends suggest.

In Uluberia seat, Sajda Ahmed of the AITC is leading by 920 votes against Joy Banerjee of the BJP.

9:30 am IST

At 9:30 am, NDA ahead in 159 seats, UPA in 19

At 9:30 am, the NDA is ahead in 159 seats, while the UPA is leading 19 Lok Sabha seats.

9:27 am IST

Pragya Thakur leading over Digvijay; Scindia trailing

BJP’s Pragya Singh Thakur is leading against Congress’ Digvijay Singh by a margin of 3,105 votes in Bhopal Lok Sabha seat of Madhya Pradesh, as per initial trends.

BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh Yadav is leading by a margin of 1165 votes against Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna.

Congress candidate Nakul Nath, son of CM Kamal Nath, is ahead of BJP’s Nathanshah Kawreti in Chhindwara seat by a margin of 1,520 votes.

9:25 am IST

Sensex up by 600 points as early trends show NDA ahead

Sensex up by 600 points as early trends show NDA ahead.

9:20 am IST

BJP ahead in 3 of 7 Delhi constituencies

As per data provided on Election Commission’s website, BJP is ahead in three of seven constituencies in Delhi . In North West Delhi, Hans Raj Hans is leading while AAP’s Gugan Singh is trailing while in South Delhi BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri is leading and AAP’s Raghav Chadha is trailing. BJP’s Parvesh Sahib Singh is leading from West Delhi while AAP’s Balbir Singh Jakhar.

9:15 am IST

PM Modi leads in Varanasi by over 11,000 votes

PM Narendra Modi is currently leading by over 11,000 votes in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

9:10 am IST

Ravi Kishan leads in Gorakhpur

BJP’s candidate actor-turned politician Ravi Kishan is currently leading from Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency.

8:56 am IST

Sunny Deol takes lead in Punjab’s Gurdaspur

Actor-turned-politician BJP’s candidate Sunny Deol is leading in Punjab’s Gurdaspur.

8:54 am IST

Amit Shah leads in Gandhinagar

BJP national president Amit Shah is currently leading in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

8:52 am IST

Rahul Gandhi trails Smriti Irani in Amethi seat

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is trailing in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi Lok Sabha seat. Amethi has been one of the most high-profile constituencies in Lok Sabha elections 2019.

He is leading from Kerala’s Wayanad, the second seat he is contesting from.

8:50 am IST

Shashi Tharoor leads in Thiruvananthapuram

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor and sitting MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor is currently leading in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat.

8:45 am IST

Rahul Gandhi will be our new Prime Minister, says Stalin

DMK president MK Stalin on Wednesday said that BJP-led NDA government at the Centre would be overthrown after the counting of Lok Sabha poll votes and Congress president Rahul Gandhi would become the new Prime Minister.

“This ‘Iftar’ is unique from the previous one. Because what we said is going to come true tomorrow, and the Central and state governments would go,” said Stalin, while attending an ‘Iftar’ party here.

“The exit poll is not the real one. It is manufactured at someone’s order. Rahul Gandhi would be our Prime minister if we get the numbers in our favour. We never change our mind. I said in the beginning. I would say it tomorrow as well. There is a possibility of going to Delhi at any time,” he said.

8:45 am IST

US says it is confident about fairness, integrity of Indian elections

The United States Wednesday said that it was confident in the fairness and integrity of the Indian elections and would work with whoever is the victor. “I would say from the US perspective, we are very confident in the fairness and the integrity of the Indian elections, and we will obviously work with whoever is the victor and whatever the outcome is there,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters during an off-camera gaggle here.

8:41 am IST

BJP leads in 25 seats, Congress in 16

8:40 am IST

Rahul Gandhi leads in Wayanad

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is currently leading in North Kerala’s Wayanad, the second seat he is contesting from.

8:30 am IST

BJP ahead in 22 seats, Congress in 15

Counting across voting centres has begun, at present the BJP is ahead in 22 seats, and the Congress is leading in 15 Lok Sabha seats.

8:20 am IST

First leads show BJP ahead in 6 seats, Congress in 2

As per first leads, BJP is ahead in six seats while Congress has taken lead in two Lok Sabha seats.

8:15 am IST

Fate of 8,040 candidates to be decided today

The fate of as many as 8,040 candidates will be decided on Thursday when the counting of votes polled for the 17th Lok Sabha elections is done.

Around 90 crore voters were eligible to vote in this Lok Sabha polls which were held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. As many as 13 crore of them were first-time voters.

According to the Election Commission of India data, 67.11 per cent voters exercised their right to franchise. This was the highest turnout in the Lok Sabha polls since independence.

Voting took place at 10.35 lakh polling stations across 36 states and Union Territories. Around a million polling staff was engaged in the smooth conduct of elections.

8:05 am IST

Counting on in over 4,000 counting centres

Counting of votes for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections began Thursday morning across the country.

The counting exercise is on in over 4,000 counting centres amid concerns raised by opposition parties over alleged tampering of EVMs. They have asked the Election Commission to ensure transparency in counting.

Election Commission officials said results are expected only by late evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are among key leaders who contested the polls.

Most of the exit polls have predicted that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is on course to retain power for a second term.

However, the opposition parties have trashed results of the exit polls, claiming that the BJP will suffer severe drubbing due to rising unemployment, farm distress and slowdown in the economy.

8:00 am IST

Counting of votes begins

India gets the last word, counting of votes begins

7:55 am IST

All eyes on outcome in UP

After having swept the state in 2014, the BJP faces its strongest challenge in Uttar Pradesh with a formidable opposition alliance. Put together, the SP-BSP-RLD social base of Yadavs, Muslims, Jatavs and Jats (in western UP) could outnumber, on paper, the BJP’s social coalition in a range of seats.

The party, however, has banked on Modi’s popularity, its own support base of upper castes, smaller OBC and Dalit groups, and its organisational might to take on the challenge. The state sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

7:52 am IST

Watch out for battles of West Bengal and Odisha

Anticipating losses in UP and some other states, the BJP focused on expanding its presence in Bengal, which sends 42 Lok Sabha MPs. It has successfully become the principal opposition force in the state, and most observers believe its vote share will increase. The question, however, is if this will result in an increase in seats, and to what extent. In Odisha, too, the BJP launched a campaign offensive to wrest seats away from the BJD. Together, in 2014, the BJP had only won three of the 63 seats in the two states. The outcome today will be a measure of how much the party has penetrated the minds and hearts of people in the east.

7:45 am IST

Coming to a theatre in US: Indian election results, live

When the lights dim at around 9:30 pm US central time (8 am, Thursday in India), the audience at a cinema hall Minneapolis, Minnesota state, will be hit with six to eight news channels airing election results from India, all together on one screen.

That’s the plan, according to Ramesh Noone, an IT professional and a supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has organised what is being touted as America’s first cinema-hall watch party for an Indian election.

An estimated 150 people have already purchased tickets — at $15 a piece — but Noone said he expected more people to “walk in” going by the response he has received to flyers he sent out just a few days ago — “they went viral”.

7:40 am IST

Here’s what analysts say about BSP supremo Mayawati

Political analysts had virtually written off Mayawati, 63, after the BSP failed to open its account in the 2014 Lok Sabha election (in the 2017 assembly election it bagged merely 19 seats). But just when the chips were down for her, the Dalit leader decided to sew a strategic alliance with the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in Uttar Pradesh, jumping right back into reckoning.

If exit polls are anything to go by, the alliance is expected to make gains in the politically crucial state with various exit polls giving them seats in the range of 30-55 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. This could propel her into the role of a kingmaker in case of an unclear verdict.

7:35 am IST

Traffic in Delhi ahead of counting in Delhi

The Delhi Traffic police tweeted this morning that traffic in the city has been affected due to vote counting centre near Swami Narayan Marg.

7:30 am IST

Counting of votes to begin shortly

In half an hour from now, counting of votes for Lok Sabha elections 2019 will begin. By end of day today, perhaps even earlier, India will have its say on who will administer the country for the next five years.

7:20 am IST

BJP’s Gorakhpur candidate Ravi Kishan offers prayers before results

Actor Ravi Kishan, who is fighting on the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat offered prayers as results of Lok Sabha elections 2019 will be announced today. Counting of votes to begin at 8 am.

BJP’s Gorakhpur candidate Ravi Kishan offers prayers before results ( ANI Photo )

7:15 am IST

Final results may be delayed by a few hours, here’s why

Officials of the Election Commission will count the votes cast across one million booths in all the 543 parliamentary seats spread across the country on Thursday. The date and place of counting votes are usually fixed at least a week before the schedule of the election is announced.

The selection of the five EVMs in every assembly constituency — there are 4,215 across India— will be done by a draw of lots in the presence of all the candidates. When the five EVMs are chosen from each of these segments, it would increase the VVPAT verification percentage from 0.44 to around 2%. The VVPAT system enables EVMs to record each vote by generating a slip.

The Election Commission’s guidelines say if there is any discrepancy in the vote count between EVMs and VVPATs, then the paper trail will prevail.

7:05 am IST

Confident of win: BJP candidate from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram

“For development of the state and welfare of its people, I think Kerala should move along with NDA government in Delhi. Now that Kerala is coming up in mainstream, I am very much confident that I’ll win in this election,” says Kummanam Rajasekharan, BJP candidate from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram.

6:55 am IST

Security tightened outside counting centres

Security has been tightened outside across counting centres in the country.

Security outside a counting centre in Karnataka’s Bengaluru ( ANI Photo )
Counting centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal ( ANI Photo )

6:50 am IST

Statewide alert in UP, Oppn asks cadres to stay vigilant

Amid controversy over security of EVMs, political parties resorted to posturing on the eve of counting of votes by asking their cadres to remain alert even as chief minister Yogi Adityanath sounded a warning that those attempting to foment trouble would be sternly dealt with.

The state police on Wednesday sounded an alert and made extensive deployment of forces at 77 counting centres across 75 districts. The state police headquarters issued directives to intensify vigil and ensure deployment at sensitive locations where violence is apprehended.

Moreover, victory processions have been strictly prohibited to avert any clash.

The alert was sounded after union home ministry raised apprehensions of violence in different parts of the country during counting. The ministry asked all the states and union territories to maintain law and order.

6:45 am IST

Battle of margins for political bigwigs

All eyes will be on Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, the day of counting of votes, when the fate of top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav and president Akhilesh Yadav, RLD chief Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary will be decided.

While in constituencies like Varanasi (Modi), Lucknow (home minister Rajnath Singh), Mainpuri (Mulayam), Rae Bareli (Sonia) and Azamgarh (Akhilesh), curiosity will be more about margins, in other seats like Saharanpur and Kanpur, the BJP is locked in a tough contest with the SP-BSP alliance.

6:30 am IST

Cong party workers asserting that the results would not be onesided as projected

Even as the atmosphere at the Congress headquarters remained sombre Monday morning, party workers rejected the exit polls and said May 23 would give results quite different from the projections.

6:00 am IST

Did you know? Rajyavardhan Rathore defeated CP Joshi by over 3 lakh votes in 2014

In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP’s Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore defeated Congress veteran CP Joshi by more than 3 lakh votes.

5:30 am IST

Did you know? Barring 1977 and two terms from 1996, Rae Barely seat has always been with Congress

Barring 1977, when Raj Narain of the Janata Party emerged victorious, and two terms for BJP’s Ashok Singh from 1996, the Rae Barely seat of Uttar Pradesh has always been with the Congress.

5:00 am IST

Cong attacked PM for favouring crony capitalists throughout the campaign

Congress fiercely attacked the Prime Minister for his alleged corruption in the Rafale deal, and repeatedly invocated the “chowkidar chor hai (the watchman is the thief)” slogan. This was supplemented with repeated accusations that the Modi government essentially favoured a set of crony capitalists.

4:30 am IST

Did you know? Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from an East UP constituency for the first time

Akhilesh Yadav is contesting from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. This is the first time he is contesting from a constituency in East Uttar Pradesh.

4:00 am IST

Did you know? Chhindwara has elected a non-Congress candidate only once since 1957

Chhindwara has elected a non-Congress candidate only once since 1957 -- in the 1997 bypoll when it elected BJP’s Sundar Lal Patwa.

3:40 am IST

These elections recorded the highest ever turnout in Indian history

The elections, held over seven phases, in 542 constituencies, witnessed the highest ever turnout in Indian history at 67.1% (tentative figure from the Election Commission) beating the previous record of 66.4% in the 2014 polls.

3:12 am IST

Did you know? In 1996, Vajpayee gave up Gandhinagar seat for Lucknow

BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee won from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, in 1996 but chose to resign and retain the other seat he had won, Lucknow, in Uttar Pradesh. This forced a by-election, which was won by Vijay Patel, who defeated film actor Rajesh Khanna.

2:40 am IST

Did you know? Nitin Gandkari contested his first Lok Sabha elections in 2014

Nitin Gadkari, who has been in politics for more than four decades, contested his first Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

2:10 am IST

Did you know? CPI (M) won Asansol seat for eight consecutive terms till 2014

CPI (M) candidates won Asansol, West Bengal seat for eight consecutive terms from 1989 till BJP’s Babul Supriyo wrested it in 2014.

1:37 am IST

At national level, elections were a battle between NDA, UPA

At the national level, it was a battle between the NDA, led by the BJP’s Modi, and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, who was, however, not the alliance or party’s declared prime ministerial face.

1:09 am IST

All exit polls predicted second term for NDA alliance

All exit polls have predicted that the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will return to power. However, exit polls often get it wrong and the actual results will only be known after the votes are counted.

12:36 am IST

Counting of votes today

India will have its say on who will administer the country for the next five years by the end of today.