Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: India Grants NDA Third Term, Sends Modi a Message

The people have spoken, and with leads in 294 Lok Sabha seats, the NDA is set to return for a third term. However, the mandate isn’t exactly what Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spearheaded the BJP campaign, may have hoped for.

Contrary to exit polls predicting a landslide for the ruling alliance, the BJP fell short of a majority on its own. With 272 as the halfway mark in the House of 543, its leads hovered around the 240-mark at night, making the party heavily dependent on alliance partners like the TDP and JD(U). This marks the end of a decade of single-party dominance and heralds the return of a coalition government at the Centre.

Prime Minister Modi, addressing party workers at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, hailed the mandate for the NDA and its successive third term: “For the first time since 1962, a government has returned for the third time after completing its two terms.”

Promising to build a Viksit Bharat, Modi said, “Our Constitution is our guiding light. I assure that the NDA government will work with all states, irrespective of the party in power there, to make India a developed country. We have no time to stop or feel tired. It’s time to work together in the nation’s interest and move forward. We have to take new decisions for the country’s progress… In the third term, the country will write a new chapter of big decisions, and this is Modi’s guarantee.”

He thanked the people of Odisha for giving the BJP a clear mandate for the first time “in the land of Lord Jagannath.” He also thanked TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar for the electoral successes in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

The BJP, which aimed for 370 seats for itself and 400-plus for the NDA, suffered major setbacks from East to West and the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh, failing to make expected gains in the South.

By late evening, the BJP had won or was leading in 240 seats, down 63 from its 2019 tally of 303. Its vote share also dipped slightly – from 37.7 percent to 36.57 percent. The NDA, however, had crossed the halfway mark.

There was some cheer in the Opposition INDIA camp, although it could not cross the halfway mark on its own.

While the Congress fell one short of the three-digit mark, up from 52 last time, the SP surged to 37 from a mere 5 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2019.

The TMC improved its 2019 tally of 22 seats to 29 in West Bengal, and the DMK maintained its sway over Tamil Nadu by leading in 22 seats.

The NCP faction of Sharad Pawar led in 7 seats, and the Shiv Sena (UBT) of Uddhav Thackeray led in 9. The RJD was ahead in 4 constituencies in Bihar, and the AAP and JMM in 3 each.

The biggest upset for the BJP was in Uttar Pradesh, where it had won 62 seats in 2019 and 71 in 2014. The BJP’s numbers almost halved, leading in just 33 seats. The remarkable comeback of the SP, ahead in 38 constituencies, and the Congress in 6, left the BJP stunned.

The BJP also faced setbacks in several states where it dominated in 2019, including Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. The party took a hit in West Bengal as well.

The only good news for the BJP came from Odisha, where its tally jumped from 8 to 19, leaving one each to the BJD and Congress. The BJP also ousted the ruling BJD in Odisha, ending the long tenure of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The BJP opened its account in Kerala and doubled its seat tally from 4 to 8 in Telangana.

In Maharashtra, the BJP’s tally dropped from 23 to 9, and in Rajasthan, it fell from 25 to 14. The party had won all 25 seats in Rajasthan in 2014 and 2019 and had recently returned to power in the state.

In Karnataka, where the BJP held 25 of the 28 seats, its tally fell to 17. In Haryana, the BJP lost 5 of the 10 seats it had previously won. In West Bengal, where the party hoped to make major gains, it won only 12 seats, down from 18 in 2019. In Bihar, the BJP’s tally dropped from 17 to 12.

The BJP will now be dependent on its allies, especially the TDP and JD(U). The TDP was ahead in 16 seats, and the JD(U) led in 12.

Veterans Naidu and Kumar, who have worked with the Opposition bloc in the past, are set to emerge as decisive political players at the Centre, along with Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena (7) and Chirag Paswan-led LJP (Ram Vilas) (5).

In the South, the BJP opened its account in Kerala and doubled its tally from 4 in Telangana.

In Tamil Nadu, where the BJP was projected to pick up some seats, the party won none. However, its vote share crossed the 11 percent mark compared to 3.62 percent last time.

In Andhra Pradesh, the BJP led in 3 seats, up from zero last time. Three regional parties, the BJD of Naveen Patnaik, the BRS of K. Chandrashekar Rao, and Mayawati’s BSP, faced a rout. The BJD led in just one Lok Sabha seat, and the BRS and BSP drew a blank.

In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP was making a clean sweep, with former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan leading by a whopping margin of over 8.21 lakh votes. In Gujarat, the BJP was ahead in 25 out of the 26 seats in the state.

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