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Modi magic encore sees Congress knocked out, regional rivals gasping for air

Thursday,23 May 2019

NEW DELHI: The Modi magic that first cascaded across the country in 2014, has performed a repeat during the 17th Lok Sabha polls, gifting the BJP 304 seats, 22 more than it had pocketed last time.

BJP leads the charts with 304 seats, enabling it to single-handedly form the government at the Centre.

The impact of the Modi wave, which took the BJP past all the predictions by the exit polls, became more and more clear as the day progressed. At least 10 agencies had predicted a huge NDA victory while one predicted victory for BJP with a lower margin.

On the other hand, the main opposition Congress is almost on the wires, struggling to reach a figure of 54, which is the minimum number of seats required to get the opposition party tag in the Lok Sabha.

BJP’s magnificent triumph is a victory of its main showman Narendra Modi, whose set the narrative all through his campaign, with rhetoric and pronouncements that tread the fine line between what is allowed by election rules and what is not. In the process, his skill with words, even managed to split the election commission. The victory equally belongs to Amit Shah, who was the mastermind behind BJP’s campaign agenda.

The BJP managed to set the agenda in a majority of stats while the Congress could make gains only in a few states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Congress-led UDF leads in 19 of the 20 seats in Kerala, while the DMK-Congress alliance lead in Tamil Nadu.

BJP made a clean sweep of the north Indian Hindi heartland, taking 7 out of 7 seats in Delhi, 24 of 25 in Rajasthan, 28 of 29 in Madhya Pradesh, while more or less repeating the same story in neighbouring states. In the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP defied all odds to demolish the SP-BSP alliance, partly riding on the administrative and law & order record of state chief minister Yogi Adithyanath. The BSP and SP end the counting day with a mere 11 and 6 seats, respectively. The result in UP makes the BJP’s victory sweeter as at least some in the party were bracing for a setback there.

As only the administrative formality of the confirmation of the final tally of each party remains, the BJP and NDA have begun preparations for government formation.

For the regional parties that have been mauled by the BJP, the defeat stings more because it happened in their own backyards. Trinamool Congress will be the most disappointed as the BJP has made major inroads in West Bengal, claiming 19 seats.

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