Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the people of India have placed their faith in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for a third consecutive time.

“People have placed their faith in NDA, for a third consecutive time! This is a historical feat in India’s history,” the prime minister says in a post on X.

“I bow to the Janata Janardan for this affection and assure them that we will continue the good work done in the last decade to keep fulfilling the aspirations of people,” says PM Modi. “I also salute all our Karyakartas for their hard work. Words will never do justice to their exceptional efforts,” he adds.

PM Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was seen ahead in 239 seats at 7:34 pm while Rahul Gandhi’s Congress is expected to bag 99 seats.

Modi, who contested from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, won the seat with a margin of 1,52,513 votes.

By evening, the NDA was leading in 290 seats whereas the INDIA bloc was ahead in 235 seats. The BJP is unlikely to cross the halfway mark of 272 seats on its own, making seats won by its partners which are part of the NDA a key deciding factor in forming the next government.

Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which is leading in 16 seats, is set to emerge as one of the kingmakers. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), which is leading in 12 seats, is also going to be a key player in the next coalition government. Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, a part of the NDA, is leading in seven seats in Maharashtra. Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party, a part of the NDA alliance, is leading in 5 seats.

The Lok Sabha election results came as a surprise for many after exit polls gave a thumping majority to the BJP last week. Indian equity benchmarks the BSE Sensex and the Nifty 50 dropped as much as 7% in intraday trade on Tuesday as trends showed a lower-than-expected seat tally for the NDA.

In big upsets, Union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani lost the key Amethi seat to Congress’ oldtimer and Gandhi family confidant Kishori Lal Sharma. Irani had emerged as the giant slayer in 2019 Lok Sabha polls when she defeated Rahul Gandhi from his family’s bastion.

“Such is life... A decade of my life going from one village to another, building lives, nurturing hope & aspirations, working on infrastructure ― roads, naali, khadanja, bypass, medical college and more. To those who stood by me through loss and victory, I am forever grateful. To those celebrating today, congratulations. And to those asking, "How's the josh?" I say- it’s still high, Sir,” Irani wrote in a post on X.

Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party was leading in 38 seats while Mamata Banerjee -led All India Trinamool Congress was leading in 29 seats.

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