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World

Web Desk
May 23, 2019

Indian Election Results 2019 Live: BJP sweeps Indian polls, leads show

World

Web Desk
Thu, May 23, 2019

New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked on course Thursday for a major victory in the world’s biggest election, with early trends suggesting his Hindu nationalist party will win a bigger majority even than 2014.

Right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Indian PM and allies are currently leading on 350 seats, NDTV reported Thursday.

Main opposition party, Indian National Congress along with allied parties are far behind the ruling coalition with 89 seats in the house of 542. While, the non-aligned parties were leading on 103 seats.

In Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian Parliament, support of 272 members is needed to form the government.

The result would give the BJP and its allies, on course for close to 50 seats, a commanding position in the lower house. They will still lack a majority in the upper house, however, putting a brake on Modi’s legislative agenda.

Thank You India, Modi on Victory

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked his voters over supporting his alliance and leading it to election victory.

Modi took to Twitter, saying “Thank you India! The faith placed in our alliance is humbling and gives us strength to work even harder to fulfil people's aspirations.”

Modi went on to say “I salute every BJP Karyakarta (workers/supporters) for their determination, perseverance and hardwork. They went home to home, elaborating on our development agenda.

Rahul Gandhi concedes defeat

NEW DELHI: Indian Opposition Leader and President Congress Rahul Gandhi has conceded defeat in the elections.

In his Tweet, Rahul Gandhi says “I accept the verdict of the people of India.”

Rahul congratulated the winners. “Congratulations to the winners, Mr Modi & the NDA.”

He went on to say “Thank you to the people of Wayanad for electing me as your MP. Thank you also to the people of Amethi.”

Thank you Congress workers & leaders for your hard work in this campaign, he added.

As small BJP celebrations began in some places, Indian stocks rose, with the main stock indices, the Sensex and the Nifty gaining more than two percent to break the 40,000 and 12,000 point marks respectively for the first time.

"Time for transformation of India. Time for deep reform. I dream of us as a global superpower in my lifetime," tweeted India’s richest banker, Uday Kotak, as he congratulated Modi.

Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party, the great-grandson, grandson and son of three past premiers, had on Wednesday dismissed exit polls pointing to a Modi win.

"Don’t get disappointed by the propaganda of fake exit polls," Gandhi, 48, told the party faithful on Twitter.

Early trends also suggested that Gandhi was in a tight race against against a former Bollywood actress running for the BJP in his constituency, which has been held by his family for generations. A second seat he was contesting in Kerala looked safer.

Modi, by contrast, looked set to romp home in Varanasi -- one of India’s holiest cities, where Hindus are cremated on the banks of the Ganges -- with almost two-thirds of the votes.

Congress leader dies at counting centre 

Ratan Singh Thakur, a local leader of Congress in Madhya Pradesh, died of a hear attack at a vote counting centre, according to India Today.

The chief of Congress in Sehore district was collecting information regarding latest trends when he felt chest pain and was shifted to a hospital.

- Fake news -

The vast size of India -- stretching from the Himalayas to the tropics, taking in polluted megacities, deserts and jungles -- made the election a marathon six-week endeavour.

The campaign, thought to have cost more than $7 billion, was awash with insults -- Modi was likened to Hitler and a "gutter insect" -- as well as fake news in Facebook and WhatsApp’s biggest markets.

Gandhi, 48, tried several lines of attack against Modi, in particular over alleged corruption in a French defence deal and over the desperate plight of farmers and the lacklustre economy.

Unemployment is reported to be at a four-decade high with Asia’s third-biggest economy growing too slowly to create jobs for the million Indians entering the labour market every month.

Modi, a former cadre in the militaristic hardline Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and chief minister of Gujurat in 2002 when riots killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, is also seen as divisive.

Lynchings of Muslims and low-caste Dalits for eating beef and slaughtering and trading in cattle have risen, adding to anxiety among India’s 170-million-strong Muslim population.

Under Modi several cities with names rooted in India’s Islamic Mughal past have been re-named, while some school textbooks have been changed to downplay Muslims’ contributions to India.

"If Modi again comes to power we are doomed," Hassan Khalid Azmi, a retired chemistry professor and Muslim in the northern city of Azamgarh, told AFP earlier this month.

- The watchman -

But Modi, 68, managed deftly to turn the election into a referendum on his rule while depicting himself, often in the third person, as the only one able to defend India.

In this he was given a major boost when a suicide bombing in Pulwama, killed 40 Indian paratroopers in Indian-Occupied Kashmir on February 14.

Doubts abound about India’s subsequent air strikes on Pakistan, but the action enabled Modi to style himself the "chowkidar" ("watchman").

"Wherever the terror groups and perpetrators may hide, our security forces will flush them out and punish them," he thundered. "Every drop of blood of our slain soldiers shall be avenged."