Sweeping victory for Indian prime minister and allies in general election

Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi has conceded his parliamentary seat to his rival from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has claimed a decisive victory in India’s general election.

Election Commission results showed BJP textiles minister Smriti Irani was ahead by 38,000 votes in Amethi, a longtime Gandhi family bastion in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family dynasty, also congratulated prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for their win in official counting on Thursday.

A BJP supporter displays a sari with a portrait of prime minister Narendra Modi  (Mahesh Kumar A/AP)
A BJP supporter displays a sari with a portrait of prime minister Narendra Modi (Mahesh Kumar A/AP)

Under Indian law, a candidate can run in more than one constituency, and Mr Gandhi was leading by more than 400,000 votes for a seat in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Vote counting of the estimated 600 million ballots cast in the world’s largest democratic exercise began early Thursday and was expected to spill over into Friday.

Mr Modi and his party declared victory as an ongoing vote-count shows them with a commanding lead in the country’s massive general election.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate in their party’s Assam state office (Anupam Nath/AP)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate in their party’s Assam state office (Anupam Nath/AP)

Election Commission data showed the BJP leading in contests for 299 out of 542 seats in Parliament, with the main opposition Congress party ahead in 50 contests.

BJP President Amit Shah credited Mr Modi’s “leadership” for the presumptive win.

The election has been seen as a referendum on Mr Modi, whose economic reforms have had mixed results but whose popularity as a social underdog in India’s highly stratified society has endured.

Final results are expected by Thursday evening at the earliest.

- Press Association

More on this topic

A welcome shift away from kneejerk reaction to bad results

FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Cameroon over England antics

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis 'absolutely chuffed' as event begins

A look at the Women’s World Cup quarter-finalists

More in this Section

Democrats begin debates for right to challenge Donald Trump for the White House

Denmark’s Social Democrats win backing from partners to form new government

More than 5,000 turtles seized in luggage at Malaysia airport

North Korea and US ‘in talks to set up third Trump-Kim summit’


Lifestyle

Review: Lauryn Hill proves she still has that thing

Darina Allen: A celebration of Irish produce

Gone to pot: Leading psychiatrist on the cannabis debate

Why London is the perfect hunting ground for antique lovers this month

More From The Irish Examiner