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India's Modi stuns opposition with huge election win

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-23 21:34
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's President Amit Shah celebrate victory in the country's general election in New Delhi on Thursday. [Photo/IC]

NEW DELHI - The mobile application of the Election Commission of India (ECI) on early Friday announced the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the just-concluded 17th general elections.

According to the ECI data, the BJP crossed the half-way mark of 272, required to form the government.

The party's tally is most likely to rise further, as BJP candidates are leading in 31 more parliamentary constituencies, and the counting of votes is still underway, showed the ECI data.
Buoyed by the victory, Prime Minister Modi said he dedicates it to his countrymen. "The people of this country contested this election. I dedicate this victory to my countrymen," he said while addressing thousands of BJP supporters at the party headquarters in New Delhi.

"We had sought mandate for a New India. I bow down before the 1.3 billion countrymen on this occasion. I thank the Election Commission of India and the security personnel for carrying out the entire election process peacefully."

Modi was accompanied by his party president Amit Shah, who is credited with forging strategic alliances with smaller parties across different states thereby ensuring BJP candidates' victories.

Senior BJP leaders, including Home Minister (Internal Security) Rajnath Singh, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Health Minister J.P. Nadda were also present at the victory rally.

Speaking on the occasion, party president Amit Shah said that the BJP had secured more than 50 percent of votes polled in as many as 17 states, while the main opposition party the Indian National Congress (INC) could not even win a single constituency in a large number of states.

Earlier, main opposition party the Indian National Congress (INC) president Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat and congratulated Modi over his victory. He tweeted, "I accept the verdict of the people of India. Congratulations to the winners, Mr Modi & the NDA. Thank you to the people of Wayanad for electing me as your MP. Thank you also to the people of Amethi. Thank you Congress workers & leaders for your hard work in this campaign."

Addressing media persons at his party headquarters in New Delhi, Gandhi said, "The BJP and the INC have different ideologies and visions. Modi and the BJP have their ideology, and the INC has its own. We will continue with our ideology and vision. There are many people in the country who believe in the INC's ideologies and policies." He also appealed to his partymen who lost the elections not to lose heart and continue to work for the party together as a team.

Gandhi also congratulated his arch rival and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani who defeated him in the Amethi parliamentary constituency in northern state of Uttar Pradesh. "I congratulate Smriti Irani, and I hope she will take care of Amethi constituency," he added.

"Today the election results have been announced. A new prime minister will take over. Our countrymen have given their verdict, and we respect that," Gandhi said.

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