The 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, the 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 percent voteshare.
   
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 percent voteshare from 28.5 percent.
   
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).
   
The 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.

READ MORE: Modi’s victory boosts Sensex past 25,000; profit-booking curbs gains

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.

Highlights of Lok Sabha Elections 2014

PM calls up Modi to congratulate him

Rajnath credits Modi for party's performance

Bangla PM Hasina, BNP chief Zia congratulate Modi

Milind Deora congratulates NaMo; says Congress will introspect

Ruling SDF surges ahead of its rivals in Sikkim

Congress leaders' arrogance led to defeat, says Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Rajnikanth describes Modi's win as 'historic'

Modi best choice for PM, says Naidu

BJP leads in 11 out of 14 seats in Jharkhand

Modi took full advantage of people's anger against Congress: Left

BJD leads in 102 seats, BJP, Cong far behind

The stock market shot up on news of the imminent BJP victory.

BJP president Rajnath Singh described the party's performance as ‘superb’, and said the trends indicate a landslide.

Rajnath Singh said he telephoned Modi and congratulated him.

BJP fails to open account in Kerala

NCP stalwart Praful Patel trails

Congress wins Kisanganj seat in Bihar

Advani congratulates Modi but does not give all credit to him

Karunanidhi accepts defeat; congratulates Modi

PA Sangma, Vincent Pala leading in Meghalaya LS seats

Gogoi, Congress admit Modi factor influenced Assam results

Karunanidhi accepts defeat; congratulates Modi

P A Sangma, Vincent Pala leading in Meghalaya LS seats

Bhagwant Singh Mann wins from Sangrur

SS Ahluwalia leading from Darjeeling

Ghulam Nabi Azad loses Udhampur seat

Kejriwal loses Varanasi seat

Sonia Gandhi wins from Rai Bareli

Modi wins from Varanasi, Vadodara

Sushma Swaraj wins from Vidisha

Mulayam leading in Azamgarh

Santosh Kumar leading in Purnia

Pappu Yadav leading in Madhepura

Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav leading in Banka

Ranjit Ranjan leading in Supaul

Milind Deora trailing in Mumbai South

Sanjay Nirupam trailing in Mumbai North

Priya Dutt trailing in Mumbai North Central

Ghulam Nabi Azad leading in Udhampur

Tariq Anwar leading in Katihar

Modi leading by about 25,000 votes in Varanasi

Rabri, Meira trail; Shatrughan, Misa Bharti ahead in Bihar

BJD ahead in 13 LS seats in Odisha

Sharad Yadav leading in Madhepura

Uma Bharti leading in Jhansi

Vinod Khanna leading in Gurdaspur

Asrarul Haque leading in Kishanganj

Giriraj Singh leading in Nawada

Modi, Rajnath congratulate Chandrababu on good show in Andhra Pradesh

BJP workers celebrate as party takes big lead

Seemandhra TDP ahead in 7 seats, YSRCP in 5

Trinamool Congress gets a head start

BJP leading in 257 seats.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to resign taking full responsibility for Congress defeat in state.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is leading by 7299 votes against his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party.

BJP leading in all 7 LS seats in Delhi.

LK Advani leading from Gandhinagar

CPI(M) leading in two LS seats of Tripura

YSRC chief Jaganmohan leads in Kadapa

BJP leading in seven seats in Haryana

Narayanasamy leads in Puducherry

UDF, LDF neck and neck in Kerala, BJP ahead in one seat

Modi, Rahul, Sonia ahead in UP; Kejriwal, Mulayam trailing

Farooq Abdullah trailing, Ghulam Nabi Azad leading

BJP leading in nine seats in NE states

BJP leading in 24 seats in Gujarat

BJP leading in both seats in Arunachal Pradesh

TDP ahead in 7 LS and YSRCP in 5 in Seemandhra

BJP ahead in 10 seats; Sushma, Jyotiraditya lead in MP

Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio leading

BJP candidates ahead in 11 seats; Shinde, Bhujbal trail in Maharashtra

Indian stocks on fire as BJP leads in vote count.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh lost the Lok Sabha election Friday from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh to BJP's Satyapal Singh, a former Mumbai police commissioner.

BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi is leading by a whopping 1.68 lakh votes over his Congress rival Madhusudan Mistry in Vadodara.

In the high-profile Saran seat, Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi is trailing Rajiv Pratap Rudy of BJP by 1650 votes.
   
In the Sasaram (SC) seat, Meira Kumar is trailing behind her BJP nominee Chhedi Paswan by 6239 votes after the second round of counting, the sources.
   
In Patliputra seat, Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti is ahead of her uncle and BJP nominee Ramkripal Yadav by 2800 votes.
   
In the Patna Sahib seat, actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha is ahead of his nearest Congress rival and Bhojpuri actor Kunal Singh by 665 votes.
   
In Bhagalpur, BJP's Shahnawaz Hussain is behind RJD's Shailesh Kumar alias Bullo Mandal by 3000 votes.
   
In Purnia, JD(U)'s Santosh Kushwaha is ahead of his BJP rival Udai Singh by 2000 votes.

Arun Jaitely trailing in Amritsar

BJP is leading in three and Aaam Aadmi Party was ahead in one seats out of seven seats in the national capital as per the early trends.

Early trends in Uttar Pradesh show that the BJP was leading in four seats while the Congress and the Samajwadi Party were ahead in one seat each.

The Trinamool Congress is leading in three seats and the BJP in two seats out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, according to trends available.

The BJP is leading over the ruling Congress in five of the 14 constituencies in Assam during the counting of postal votes.

Uma Bharti trailing in Jhansi

Hema Malini leading in Mathura

Shahnawaz Husain leading in Bhagalpur

Vinod Kumar Srivastava leading in East Champaran

Uday Singh leading in Purnia

Misa Bharti leading in Patliputra

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in 15 constituencies as per the initial trends available at 25 seats across the country with Narendra Modi leading in both Vadodara and Varanasi.

Among other parties, Congress was leading in four seats, SAD in two seats while NCP, Naga Peoples Front and National Peoples Party are leading in one seat each.
     
According to the trends, BJP is leading in 7 seats and Congress in one in Gujarat.

BJP was also leading in all the four seats in Himachal Pradesh and one seat each in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.    

SAD was leading in two seats in Punjab.

Congress was leading in one seat each in Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh.
    
In Maharashtra, NCP was leading in one seat.
    
Modi, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, was leading by over 25,000 from Vadodara in Gujarat while former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela was leading by 187 votes from Sabarkanta.

Chirag Paswan leading in Jamui (SC)

Rama Devi leading in Sheohar

Sonia Gandhi leading in Rai Bareli

Shazia Ilmi leading in Ghaziabad

Minakshi Lekhi leading in New Delhi

Meira Kumar trailing in Sasaram

Rahul Gandhi leading in Amethi

Nitin Gadkari leading in Nagpur

Sushma Swaraj leading in Vidisha

Sachin Pilot leading in Ajmer

Rajnath Singh trailing in Lucknow

Kamal Nath trailing in Chhindwara

Varun Gandhi leading in Sultanpur

Narendra Modi is leading in Varanasi

Harsh Vardhan leading from Chandni Chowk

Kapil Sibal trailing from Chandni Chowk

Rahul Gandhi trailing from Amethi

Shashi Tharoor leading from Thiruvananthapuram

Ananth Kumar leading from Bangalore South

Nagma leading from Meerut

Advani leading from Gandhinagar

Ashok Chavan leading from Nanded

Md Kaif leading from Phulpur

Rahul Gandhi leading from Amethi

Uma Bharti leading from Jhansi

Mulayam Singh leading from Mainpuri

Dimple Yadav leading from Kannauj

VK Singh leading from Ghaziabad

•Election Commission said the counting exercise to be held at 989 counting centres is likely to be completed by 4 pm and trends will start emerging by 9.30 am.

•By noon, a final picture could emerge on who would be the major players in the 16th Lok Sabha.

•Of 989 counting centres, maximum are in AP at 168 followed by 98 in West Bengal, 76 in UP, 64 in Odisha, 51 in Assam and 48 in Maharashtra.

Lok Sabha elections 2014: The Number Game

•    There are 543 seats in the Lower House of Parliament known as the Lok Sabha. In addition, two Anglo-Indian members may be nominated by the president if he feels that the community is not adequately represented in the house.

•    For a political party to secure a parliamentary majority, and form the government, it needs to win 272 seats in the elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) haa called their campaign "Mission 272+" for this reason.

•    Winning an outright majority has grown more difficult over the years for the two main national parties - Congress, which has governed India as part of a coalition for the last decade, and the opposition BJP.

•    That's because power has increasingly radiated toward regional parties, whose support has been crucial to form a government.

•    Some of these regional players have also banded together to form a loose "third front", a possible alternative to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

•    Outside support from regional parties can be fickle. The UPA government that came to power in 2004 was propped up by communist parties. However, they withdrew support after the government struck a civilian nuclear deal with United States in 2008.

•    The second UPA government that was elected in 2009 received support from Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress Party. The mercurial leader of West Bengal pulled the plug in 2012 after the government decided to raise diesel prices and allow foreign big-box stores in India.

•    Banerjee is not the only female regional party leader capable of shaping the new government. Two more parties are led by female firebrands - Jayalalithaa Jayaram in Tamil Nadu and Kumari Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh.

•    There's a lot at stake for India these elections - the country faces its longest slowdown since the 1980s at less than 5 percent economic growth. India is targeting 8 percent growth to help create jobs for 10 million youngsters joining the workforce every year.

•    India saw a record 66 percent turnout this general election as a young electorate and women engaged with politics more than ever before. Some 537 million people voted.

•    The votes for 543 seats will be counted at 989 designated centres across the country, with each centre heavily guarded by local police and paramilitary forces.

•    Contesting candidates are allowed inside counting centres if they agree to keep their armed guards at bay. Only candidates with special protection can be accompanied by personnel in plain clothes with a concealed weapon.

JPN/Agencies

Latest News from India News Desk

 

LS polls: Counting of votes today, BJP upbeat

New Delhi: The fate of nearly 8000 candidates will be decided today as the D-Day has finally arrived. The counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections 2014 will start at 8 am, with postal ballots being counted first.

The marathon nine-phase voting recorded the highest voter turnout ever at 66.4 percent.

Although India's elections are notoriously difficult to predict, exit polls project a win for the BJP-led Nationalist Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Lok Sabha elections 2014: The Number Game

There are 543 seats in the Lower House of Parliament known as the Lok Sabha. In addition, two Anglo-Indian members may be nominated by the president if he feels that the community is not adequately represented in the house.

For a political party to secure a parliamentary majority, and form the government, it needs to win 272 seats in the elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) haa called their campaign "Mission 272+" for this reason.

Winning an outright majority has grown more difficult over the years for the two main national parties - Congress, which has governed India as part of a coalition for the last decade, and the opposition BJP.

That's because power has increasingly radiated toward regional parties, whose support has been crucial to form a government.

Some of these regional players have also banded together to form a loose "third front", a possible alternative to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Outside support from regional parties can be fickle. The UPA government that came to power in 2004 was propped up by communist parties. However, they withdrew support after the government struck a civilian nuclear deal with United States in 2008.

The second UPA government that was elected in 2009 received support from Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress Party. The mercurial leader of West Bengal pulled the plug in 2012 after the government decided to raise diesel prices and allow foreign big-box stores in India.

Banerjee is not the only female regional party leader capable of shaping the new government. Two more parties are led by female firebrands - Jayalalithaa Jayaram in Tamil Nadu and Kumari Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh.

There's a lot at stake for India these elections - the country faces its longest slowdown since the 1980s at less than 5 percent economic growth. India is targeting 8 percent growth to help create jobs for 10 million youngsters joining the workforce every year.

India saw a record 66 percent turnout this general election as a young electorate and women engaged with politics more than ever before. Some 537 million people voted.

The votes for 543 seats will be counted at 989 designated centres across the country, with each centre heavily guarded by local police and paramilitary forces.

Contesting candidates are allowed inside counting centres if they agree to keep their armed guards at bay. Only candidates with special protection can be accompanied by personnel in plain clothes with a concealed weapon.