Narendra Modi-led BJP won 303 seats out of 542 in the Lok Sabha polls. (File Photo: PTI)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stunned opposition parties by winning 303 seats on its own in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The BJP received 22,90,78,261 votes, apparently, the highest by any party in any Lok Sabha election ever. This is almost double the number of votes garnered by the Congress. The grand old party has managed to get only 11,94,94,952 votes in the recently concluded parliamentary elections. In terms of vote share, the BJP garnered approximately 37.4 per cent of the votes in this election and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as a whole, received approximately 45 per cent of the vote. However, the Congress party gathered 19.5 per cent of the total votes.
While the BJP got 5,74,18,031 votes more than what it got in 2014 (17,16,60,230), the Congress managed to increase their tally by only 1,25,58,010 votes. The Congress had got 10,69,35,942 votes in the previous general election.
The BJP, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, has also expanded its geographic reach in terms of the electoral success. From West Bengal in the east to Karnataka in the south, the BJP and its allies have bucked the trend.
In West Bengal, the BJP made inroads by winning 18 seats and got around 2,30,28,343 votes - much more than the Indian National Congress which got just 32,10,485 votes and won only two seats. Similarly, in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh where Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party entered into a pre-poll alliance, the BJP won 62 seats with 4,28,57,454 votes while the Congress managed to win just 1 seat with 54,57,269 votes.
In a major setback, BJP candidate Smriti Irani defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from his bastion in Amethi by a margin of over 55,000 votes, In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi had defeated Irani by 1,07,903 votes. The biggest gainer in Uttar Pradesh is the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which increased its tally to 10 from zero in 2014. The Samajwadi Party (SP) won only 5 seats and BJP's ally Apna Dal (S) got two seats.
In Karnataka, BJP won 25 seats by garnering total votes of 1,80,53,454 and the Congress won just one seat with 1,12,03,016 votes. Some other states where BJP, along with its allies, apparently made a clean sweep are Gujarat (BJP got 1,80,91,484 votes), Bihar (BJP got 96,222,724 votes), Maharashtra (BJP got 1,49,12,139 votes), Rajasthan (BJP got 1,89,68,392 votes) and Madhya Pradesh (BJP got 2,14,06,887 votes).
The elections were held in seven phases - between April 11 and May 19 - and around 90 crore voters used their franchise. Around 10.35 lakh polling stations were set up across the country this year, as compared to nearly 9.28 lakh set up during 2014 polls. This marks an increase of 10.1 per cent.
Nearly 39.6 lakh electronic voting machines and 17.4 lakh paper trail or voter-verifiable paper trail (VVPAT) machines were used in these polling stations.