New Delhi: India has voted for a regime change. And it has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party giving it a clear majority and a massive mandate in the 2014 General Elections, sending its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to 7 RCR.
BJP on Friday stormed to power at the Centre after a decade creating history and reaching the halfway mark on its own and along with the NDA crossing the 300 figure, sending the party workers in a tizzy and its leaders overjoyed beyond words. Addressing the media in the national capital, BJP president Rajnath Singh said that a new era has begun in the history of the country.
NDA which comprises BJP and 24 smaller parties bagged 335 seats. The BJP won 282 seats on its own. This is the biggest victory for any party after Rajiv Gandhi`s massive 400 plus victory in 1984. The half way mark is 272 in the 543-member House. This is the first time that any non-Congress party has won a majority on its own. Before the results were out most of the BJP leaders were sure that it would romp home and touch the halfway mark along with its allies riding on the `Modi wave`.
However, after the results were out today, it seemed that a `Modi Tsunami` had hit the country with BJP winning even in areas which was not traditionally its stronghold. BJP has surely come a long way from a party of two Lok Sabha members in 1984. At the height of its popularity during Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime, considered to be BJP`s tallest leader, the party got 182 seats in 1998 and 1999. This was in the backdrop of the Ayodhya movement and the Rath Yatra undertaken by the LK Advani.
On the other hand, the Congress was decimated today ending in double digit figures – just 44 seats - its worst ever performance. Congress could not even open its account in seven states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Goa, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh. Union ministers Sachin Pilot, Jitendra Singh, Chandresh Kumari, Namonarayan Meena and Girija Vyas, and six sitting Congress MPs including CP Joshi too tasted defeat. In 2009, the Congress had won 206 seats with its vote share being 28.5 percent. The Congress won only two seats in UP - Nehru-Gandhi family pocket borough of Rae Bareli and Amethi. Congress president and vice president Sonia and Rahul Gandhi addressed the media in the evening and accepted defeat saying that the mandate was against them and that they take responsibility for the party`s poor showing. Though Congress had not named any PM candidate, Rahul was the face of his party`s campaign.
BJP`s amazing showing in Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar along with Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh contributed in Modi becoming the next Prime Minister of India. The BJP had won 58 seats in 1998 in UP when it was catapulted to power. This time BJP has won an unprecedented 71 seats in UP and its ally Apna Dal winning two seats. And in Bihar the BJP and its allies won 31 seats (BJP on its own 22 seats). Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats. Modi`s close aide Amit Shah is being credited as being the man who turned around the crucial state for the BJP. In Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha, the BJP`s march was halted by regional strongholds AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and BJD, respectively.
Addressing a victory rally in Vadodara after the results were out, Modi promised to the people that he would spend every second of his life in working for the country. He also said that he would take everyone along in order to run the country. Later he also addressed a rally in Ahmedabad where he reiterated his commitment to take India on the path of growth and development.
Since he was anointed the BJP`s PM candidate on September 13 last year, Modi undertook a whirlwind campaign criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country, addressing as many as four to five rallies in a day in the last lap. In all his rallies he talked of BJP`s agenda of development and growth and taking on the Congress-led UPA government over issues of corruption, scams, price rise and inflation. He also exhorted the crowd to give him 60 months as against 60 years that they had given the Congress.
Given the results that have come in BJP`s favour today, it seems that the people did listen to Modi and decided to give him a chance to run the country. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, BJP had 116 members on a national vote share of 18.8 percent. The Congress had 206 members with a vote share of 28.55 percent. In the 2014 polls, the BJP has got a vote share of 31.4 percent against Congress` 19.5 percent.