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BJP storms back to power with bigger mandate

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, stormed back to power as it swept the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with a bigger mandate than 2014. While the BJP alone crossed the triple ton, the National democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP, is likely to cross the 350 mark in the total 542 seats that went to the polls. 
 
The comeback of the BJP has many firsts to boast.  Narendra Modi is the first non-Congress Prime Minister to return to power after a full five-year term. Second, the BJP will become the first party since Indira Gandhi’s Congress to return with a majority of its own. The thumping victory can be considered a big achievement given the party had already set an almost impossibly high bar for itself in 2014.
 
Meanwhile, the Congress’ strategy to seize the thunder from the BJP was watered down with the party able to win only 51 seats, a slight improvement from its 2014 tally when it secured 44 seats. 
 
The Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, won the Wayanad seat with a huge margin but lost the Amethi seat to BJP rival and Union minister Smriti Irani which can be termed the biggest upset of the election. The Congress faced in the Hindi heartland states of Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where it formed the government six months ago.
 
In his remarks after the election results were out, Modi expressed his gratitude to the people for the faith they placed in him and the huge mandate they gave to the party. He said it would strengthen the BJP to work even harder to fulfil people’s aspirations. “We will build a strong and inclusive India”  he tweeted. 
 
The Congress chief conceded his defeat and congratulated PM Modi and the BJP for the landslide victory and added that his party will continue to fight the ideological battle with the saffron party. The thumping victory of the BJP came as a rude shock to the party considering AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi campaigned extensively in the state. 
 
Buoyed by the results, the benchmark BSE Sensex touched 40,000 for the first time and the NSE Nifty breached the 12,000 level. The rupee appreciated 14 paise to 69.51 against the US dollar. 
 
In Uttar Pradesh, which is considered crucial in the general elections for the large area in which it is spread and the number of MP seats it contributes to the total tally in the Lok Sabha, the BJP managed to defy the challenge posed by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance, Mahagatbhandan, by winning 62 seats, along with its ally Apna Dal(S), of the total 80 MP seats. Although the BJP had won 71 seats in the previous elections, the performance is way better than what many exit polls predicted. The SP-BSP managed to win 14 seats between them. 
 
The Congress failed to cash in on the advantage gained due to the victories it registered in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh  Assembly elections held last  year. The Modi wave helped the BJP win in the states of Hindi heartland and Gujarat, apart from making significant gain in West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
 
The BJP made its mark in Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Delhi and in Karnataka, it is likely to win 25 out of 28 seats.The only silver lining for the Congress was that it fared better in Punjab and Kerala. It drew a blank in Andhra Pradesh but won four seats in neighbouring Telugu state, Telangana.

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