New Delhi: Narendra Modi on Friday stormed to power at the Centre giving BJP its highest-ever tally in the Lok Sabha elections, securing for the party a majority on its own and in the process handing out the worst-ever defeat to Congress.
BJP has won 115 seats and was leading in 168 others, which will take the party to a total of 283, eight more than the required half-way mark in 543-member House. With its allies, the tally of NDA is expected to go up to 335.
Congress was virtually decimated as it bagged only 18 seats and was leading in 27 others. Party president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi accepted responsibility for the defeat.
Riding the Modi wave, BJP has come a long way from a party of two Lok Sabha members in 1984. Even at the height of the popularity of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it could manage to get only 182 in 1998 and 1999, on the back of Ayodhya movement.
A massive 12 per cent increase in its voteshare in the current elections has propelled the party to new heights while in 2009, it had secured only 116 seats on the basis of 18.8 per cent vote share.
On the other side, the Congress plumetted from a tally of 206 in 2009 to less than 50 seats on the loss of around 10 per cent voteshare from 28.5 per cent.
The Congress found it difficult to cross the double digit mark in most of the states as BJP swept Gujarat (26), Rajasthan (25), Delhi (7), Uttarakhand (5), Himachal Pradesh (4) and Goa (2).
BJP also nearly swept the crucial heartland state of Uttar Pradesh where it bagged 16 seats and was ahead in 55 of the total 80 seats. Its ally Apna Dal was leading in two seats. All the other seats were won by two political families.
Only regional parties AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and BJD were able to stymie the saffron march in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha, respectively.
AIADMK had won five seats and was leading in 32, while TMC had won 12 and was ahead in 22. BJD was set for a near sweep as it was leading in 19 of 21 seats.