Election 2019 Results: The Top Ten Takeaways 
Supporters wave BJP flags while celebrating outside the party’s headquarters in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, May 23, 2019. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Election 2019 Results: The Top Ten Takeaways 

More than 8,000 candidates, over 90 crore eligible voters and, at 67.1 percent, the highest turnout ever. But the 2019 Lok Sabha election will go down in India’s history for more than that. It also produced a landmark 303-seat victory for the Narendra Modi and Amit Shah led Bharatiya Janata Party. While the record of 404 Lok Sabha seats, won by the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress Party after his mother Indira Gandhi’s assasination in 1984. is yet to be broken, the BJP did enough record breaking of its own this time.

The headline grabbing one is this - At 62, BJP is winning more seats in Uttar Pradesh than the Congress will across India (52).

These are the key takeaways as per Election Commission data as on 9 p.m. on Thursday.

1. Election Of Many Firsts

The BJP-led alliance hit a number of milestones in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections which had never been witnessed in Indian politics.

  • First time the BJP has crossed 300 seats in the Lok Sabha.
  • First time the NDA has crossed 350 seats in the Lok Sabha.
  • First time a prime minister and his party have won two consecutive Lok Sabha elections by crossing the half way mark on its own.
  • This is also the first time since 1984 that a political party has amassed 300 seats on its own.
...this would be the biggest victory for an incumbent government in the history of independent India.
Goldman Sachs Economics Research

2. Where BJP Made Inroads

Not only has the BJP crossed 50 percent vote share in 17 states, it’s leading in absolutely all seats in Gujarat, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, won all seats in Rajasthan and 80 percent or more seats in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

But the most important seat victories have been in the east.

  • In West Bengal, BJP looks to have won 18 of 42 seats, just four short of Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress Party. In 2014 the BJP had won just 2 seats.
  • In Odisha, while the Biju Janata Dal leads in 12 of 21 seats, the BJP is set to score 8 versus the one it had in 2014.

3. South India Remains Modi-Free

Southern Indian states remain a tough nut to crack for the BJP, barring the outlier Karnataka where the saffron party won nearly 90 percent of the seats.

  • BJP couldn’t make much headway in Tamil Nadu even with its alliance with the AIADMK. The Congress and its long-time partner DMK is set to secure 35 seats, leaving the NDA with just three.
  • Like 2014, the BJP has failed to win any seats in Kerala with the UPA leading/winning 19 of the 20 seats.
  • In Andhra Pradesh too the BJP’s tally is down to zero from three seats in 2014. Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party is leading in 22 of the 25 seats in the state.
  • Telangana has also kept BJP out with K Chandrashekar Rao's TRS winning nine of the 17 seats. The BJP looks set to bag 4, better than the UPA’s.

4. There Were These State Elections Too

The Lok Sabha elections coincided with assembly elections in four states—Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim.

  • In Arunchal Pradesh, the incumbent BJP is set to win 30 of a total 60 seats: it has won 19 and is leading in 11.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, the YSR Congress is on course to form the government after winning 28 seats and leading in 121 seats out of the total 175.
  • In Odisha, the incumbent BJD is poised to return to power with 115 seats. BJP is set to win 21 seats in the state.
  • In Sikkim, the opposition Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has won 13 and is leading on three seats out of the total 32 seats. The incumbent Sikkim Democratic Front has won 8 and is leading in 5 seats.
Rahul Gandhi, president of the Congress Party,conceding defeat at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi, on Thursday, May 23, 2019. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

5. How The Big Names Fared

  • Narendra Modi is leading in Varanasi with by 7 lakh votes. That’s over 63 percent of the voter share.
  • Amit Shah is leading in Gandhinagar by 8.8 lakh votes, getting almost 70 percent votes.
  • Smriti Irani finally managed to wrest the Amethi seat from Rahul Gandhi who has conceded defeat after a gap of over 40,000 votes.
  • But Rahul will still be a part of the Lok Sabha. In Kerala’s Wayand, the second seat he contested from, he has amassed a lead of over 7.5 lakh votes.
  • Sonia Gandhi is set to win from her stronghold Rae Bareli, garnering a lead of 5.3 lakh votes.
  • Nitin Gadkari is leading in Nagpur by 6.1 lakh votes with over a 55 percent voter share.
  • Rajnath Singh is leading in Lucknow by 6.27 lakh votes and has 56.7 percent voter share.
  • Pragya Singh Thakur is leading Congress’ Digvijay Singh in Bhopal by over 8 lakh votes and with a 61 percent voter share.
  • Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is leading in Patna Sahib by over 6 lakh votes.
  • Akhilesh Yadav is leading in Azamgarh with 5.78 lakh votes and 60 percent of the voter share.
  • Shashi Tharoor is set to win in Thiruvananthapuram by over 4 lakh votes.
  • Congress' Jyotiraditya Scindia was trailing Krishna Pal Singh of BJP by over 1.2 lakh votes in Guna, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Milind Deora, who was endorsed by several leading business leaders in Mumbai, such as Mukesh Ambani and Uday Kotak, was trailing incumbent Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena in the Mumbai South constituency, by over one lakh votes.

Interestingly nine former chief ministers lost the elections this time around: Sheila Dixit, Bhupendra Singh Hooda, Harish Rawat, Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, M Veerappa Moily, Nabam Tuki, Mukul Sangma and Digvijay SIngh.

6. Where Congress Lost Ground

Congress failed to recreate its poll performance in the Hindi heartland states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan—where it ousted the BJP government from the state assembly just last year. The Congress also lost some ground in Karnataka.

  • In Rajasthan, the Congress failed to win any seats being completely swept out of the state by the BJP.
  • In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress could only win one seat out of 29, even worse than the two it had won in 2014.
  • In Chhattisgarh, the Congress was able to win two seats compared to the one it had won in 2014.
  • In Karnataka, the UPA saw its tally dwindle to just two from nine in 2014.

7. Markets Hit Record Highs

Through the morning, as the Rahul Gandhi-led party’s fortunes plummeted, the equity markets rose, with the two benchmark indices dancing a record tango. At about 10.45 am the NSE Nifty 50 crossed 12,000 for the first time and the Sensex hit a record of 40,000. The rupee strengthened, bond yields fell.

But the euphoria was short lived as expert investors cautioned about medium-term concerns such as valuations and liquidity issues at non-bank lenders, as well as longer term concerns regarding a slowing economy, jobs and the need for broader policy reform.

By the end of trade, the indices gave up all their gains to each close three-quarters of a percent lower. All sectoral indices also closed with losses. The Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices held on to handsome gains though.

Don’t expect the stock market to rally over the next two-three months, but it may spend this time laying a strong foundation for the next bull run. The mid- and small-cap stocks are likely to outperform their larger peers in the next 18 months. I am not worried about anything. They [equities] will give returns better than nominal growth.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Billionaire Investor

Also read: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Says Groundwork For Next Bull Market Will Be Laid Over Two-Three Months

8. India Inc. And Other Admirers

Prime Minister Modi termed his victory as that of the nation - “India wins again” he tweeted, identifying himself with the country’s fortunes. Effusion was the order of the day.

“Size of the country (Land mass + population) x Size of the Economy x Size of the election mandate = Leader’s Power Quotient. By the measure of this crude formula, @narendramodi is about to become the most powerful, democratically elected leader in the world today,” Anand Mahindra, chairman of Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra group said on Twitter.

Uday Kotak, chief executive officer of Kotak Mahindra Bank, struck a Martin Luther King note. “Time for transformation of India. Time for deep reform. I dream of us as a global superpower in my lifetime. Heartiest congratulations to @narendramodi , the BJP, and the NDA.”

JSW Group Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal congratulated Modi “on a spectacular victory”. India's first pro-incumbency vote since 1971, is proof that the country has faith in your strong & decisive leadership, he said in a tweet.

Congratulations pored in from countries close and far, friend and foe - Nepal, Bhutan, Russia, China. The Prime Minister of Israel experienced a moment of nostalgia, harking back to a stroll on the beach with Modi not long ago.

9. Modi Dedicates Victory To India’s Constitution

In his victory speech at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, the soon-to-be-PM-again Narendra Modi said he dedicated this victory to the people and constitution of India.

“This is not Modi’s win, it’s a win for the youth, pride, the sick, the hardworking farmers, the pension-drawing elderly,” he told scores of people gathered outside the BJP headquarters.

Modi also took potshots at critics of his brand of nationalism. It was fashionable to wear a fake tag called secularism, he said. From 2014 to 2019, that entire movement has gone silent. Not a single party fought the 2019 election under the tag of secularism, he said to a cheering crowd of party workers.

Before the Prime Minister addressed the gathering, Amit Shah said that Modi was the “superhero of BJP's super victory.”

Here are the highlights from Modi's speech.

10. A Humble Rahul Concedes Defeat

While there was euphoria at BJP’s headquarters, a few kilometres away the mood was sombre at the Congress head office. In a press conference, party chief Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat and congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.

A smiling Gandhi said that they will accept the people’s mandate with humility. “ I don't want to colour the decision of the people by talking about what went wrong. What matters is that the people of India have decided that Narendra Modi should be Prime Minister. And as an Indian I fully respect that,” he said.

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