Modi wave triumphs

Modi wave triumphs
Narendra Modi bows down before his mother Heeraben to take her blessings at her residence in Gandhinagar, about 23km from Ahmedabad, yesterday.

Narendra Modi is the next prime minister of India.

The Hindu nationalist leader thundered to victory in the general election, lifting the Bharatiya Janata Party to its highest-ever tally and leaving the ruling Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in tatters.

Modi and his party-led National Democratic Alliance won and led in 339 of the total of 543 Lok Sabha seats, much more than the majority needed to form a stable government without forming a coalition with smaller regional parties.

It is the most commanding victory Indian voters have given to a non-Congress party since independence in 1947.

In fact, even on its own, BJP can form the government as it is ahead in 285 seats, polls results showed yesterday. A majority of 272 seats in Lok Sabha is needed to form a government.

This is for the first time in three decades a party has got such a decisive electoral mandate since 1984 when Congress under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi had got unprecedented three-fourths majority riding on a sympathy wave following the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi.

On the other hand, the ruling Congress led by Sonia Gandhi is poised to crash to its worst electoral defeat struggling with bagging or leading in just 44 seats and the party led-United Progressive Alliance in 59.

The stunning results exceeded all poll forecasts, as firecrackers exploded at party offices around the country and sweets were handed out by BJP activists in celebrations that began only a few hours after the first figures filtered out soon after vote counting began at 8:00am.

With the BJP declaring the start of a "new era" in the world's biggest democracy, the ruling Congress conceded defeat.

Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, Congress vice president and scion of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, accepted moral responsibility for the party's humiliating debacle and wished all success to the new government.

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