Modi set to return to power, BJP may fall short of majority

DailySun || Shining BD

Published: 6/4/2024 10:09:38 AM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday was set to return to a rare third tenure in power but the majority seemed to elude his BJP in Indian parliamentary elections in the face of strong fight by the opposition INDIA bloc.

As the counting of votes after the six-week polling continued and trends emerged, BJP on its own led in 237 seats, while the opposition led by Congress came up with a stunning show leading in at least 227 seats, according to the latest numbers. Congress alone led in 97 seats.

However, despite the stiff challenge, the BJP-led NDA appears to be inching closer towards the 300-mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha, standing at 295 at the moment, to ensure a rare third successive term for Modi to equal the feat of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

In UP, which offers the highest number of 80 seats, BJP was second to INDIA bloc led by Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party which is leading in 42 seats. Another state where BJP lost considerable ground is West Bengal where ruling TMC has been able to consolidate its lead in at least 30 seats. BJP had won 18 seats in 2019 but this time is ahead by 11. TMC got 22 seats five years ago.

Maharashtra continues to be another state where the opposition has gained considerably especially after BJP split up the two regional heavyweights Shiv Sena and NCP. The opposition in the state led in 30 seats while NDA trails with just 17 seats. The state has a total of 48 seats.

As BJP failed to reach the majority mark on its own, talks began on the NDA front with Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu speaking with Modi as the results kept coming in.

Congress-led INDIA bloc’s performance is much better than what was predicted in exit polls. In the previous national poll, Congress had bagged 52 seats, its worst performance in Lok Sabha elections.

According to the Election Commission trends, BJP was leading in all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi on Tuesday, with Manoj Tiwari leading by a margin of over 79,000 votes against Congress candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, a former firebrand student leader.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are leading from their Varanasi and Lucknow Lok Sabha seats respectively.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is ahead in both the Raebareli constituency in UP and Wayanad in Kerala. In Raebareli, he is leading by 275,465 votes against BJP nominee Dinesh Pratap Singh while Smriti Irani is trailing by 90, 479 votes against Kishori Lal Sharma, Congress candidate and a long-time loyalist of Gandhi family, in neighbouring Amethi constituency.

Irani had pulled off the giant-killing act of defeating Rahul in Amethi in the previous national elections in 2019.

In Wayanad, Rahul was ahead by 202,458 votes against his nearest rival Annie Raja of Communist Party of India.

Shining BD