Historic Encore: Modi wave decimates opposition

Historic Encore: Modi wave decimates opposition

Morung illustration by Sandemo Ngullie. Map results courtesy: Times of India

Morung Express News

Dimapur | May 23

Narendra Modi will be Prime Minister again, as his party came back to power today with an even bigger majority than in 2014.

The Bharatiya Janata Party alone was set to win 303 seats and along with its allies was leading in or won 349 seats, far beyond the 272 they needed for a majority in the Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress failed to reach three figures for a second election in a row. The Congress was set to win only 51 seats, which was an increase from their 2014 showing when they were decimated to 44 seats. While they will be the second largest party represented in the Lok Sabha, the party will fall short again from qualifying for the Leader of Opposition.

One of the most brutal blows for the Congress was when party chief Rahul Gandhi lost to Smriti Irani in the Gandhi bastion of UP’s Amethi In other states, Andhra Pradesh CM, N Chandrababu Naidu lost power to Jagan Mohan Reddy of the YSR Congress and Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal won in Odisha.

A major contribution to the BJP’s overwhelming success was their sweep of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. The party has also made serious inroads in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal and has managed to minimise losses in Uttar Pradesh despite a formidable challenge from an alliance between regional heavyweights, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party.

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

There are many firsts in BJP’s remarkable feat. Narendra Modi is set to l become the first non-Congress Prime Minister to return to power after a full five-year term while the BJP will become the first party since Indira Gandhi’s Congress to return with a majority of its own. The victory is considered as a staggering achievement given the party had already set an almost impossibly high bar for itself in 2014.

On the contrary, the Congress’ strategy to seize the narrative from the BJP was a flop show as they received shock defeats in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where the party formed the government six months ago.

In his first remarks after the results, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the people for giving his party a huge mandate and said it would, in turn, strengthen the BJP to work even harder to fulfil people’s aspiration.

“We will build a strong and inclusive India,” he tweeted. Meanwhile, the Congress chief congratulated the BJP for their landslide victory and said his party will continue to fight the ideological battle with the BJP.