New Delhi, May 25 (India Today): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sealed its phenomenal electoral victory with a 300-plus win.
As the counting of votes for 542 Lok Sabha seats ended, the final tally of the Narendra Modi-led BJP stood at 303 seats, a super-sized victory that had its leaders excitedly looking forward to a second successive term in government.
With the BJP riding a Modi wave that took it past its 2014 tally of 282, the opposition was left way behind with the Congress winning only 52 seats, three less than it needs for a Leader of Opposition post in the lower house and marginally more than the 44 it got in the last general elections.
The party drew a blank in 18 states and union territories, including in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi and Haryana.
NDA won 353 seats, UPA stood at 91 while Others won 98.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with 23 wins, the Trinamool Congress and the YSRCP with 22 each, the Shiv Sena with 18 and the Janata Dal-United with 16 made their presence felt in an election that took on overtones of a presidential contest with the domination of Modi.
The other regional parties, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, did not fare well. The BJP and its ally Apna Dal (S) won 64 of the 80 seats in the state, demolishing the challenge posed by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) alliance.
The Samajwadi Party won five seats and its alliance partner Bahujan Samaj Party bagged 10.
Left parties Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) were left with five seats – three for the CPI-M and two for the CPI. This is about half their tally of 10 in 2014.
While the Congress bagged only one Lok Sabha seat and nine assembly seats in Odisha, Patnaik also faced defeat in the assembly polls.
The BJP made huge strides in the coastal state, getting eight of 21 seats with the ruling BJD getting 12 and the Congress one. In 2014, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) got 20 and the BJP just one.
The saffron sweep was reported from other parts of the country as well with the BJP winning 61 of the 65 seats in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan that the Congress won in assembly elections just five months ago.