Even as the counting of votes by the Election Commission is underway, it has now become clear that the Modi government will be back.

Sparking euphoria among his supporters across the country, and in a brutal defeat to the opposition, PM Narendra Modi has led his coalition to a victory, yet again. The BJP-led NDA is all set to form the Union government for a second consecutive term. With counting for the 17th Lok Sabha still underway, the BJP is leading in 300 seats as of 2.15pm according to the Election Commission website, which is well past the halfway mark of 271 seats, of the 542 which went to poll in April and May 2019. The NDA is leading in 350 seats. The Congress is leading in just 50 seats, which is just six more than what they won in 2014.

The BJP seems to be sweeping Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka. In 2014, the BJP won 282 seats, while the NDA had 336 seats.

The Congress is performing well only in Kerala and Punjab. In Kerala, the Congress-led UDF is leading in all 20 seats. In Punjab, the Congress is leading in 8 seats out of 13. The BJP’s big surge came from Odisha and West Bengal. The BJP has breached into Mamata Banerjee’s territory and are leading in almost 18 seats. They had won just two seats in 2014.

BJP’s controversial candidates like Pragya Thakur, Tejasvi Surya and Gautam Gambhir have taken massive leads in their respective constituencies.

The NDA’s victory was predicted by most exit polls released on May 19, with four out of five polls released on English TV channels predicting a thumping win for the BJP-led NDA. The stock markets had soared by over 3% following the exit polls. However, consequent doubts over the veracity of the polls – and a correction in the stock markets – had raised the expectations of the opposition parties hoping to oust the Modi government.

In the run up to the results day, the Congress and several regional parties like the TDP, SP and BSP had hoped to come together for a post-poll arrangement and form a government in the event of BJP not winning enough seats. It was also expected that the BJP could require support parties like the TRS, TDP and BJD to form the government. But with the NDA crossing the halfway mark on its own, regional parties are unlikely to play any role in formation of the government.

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