India election results: live updates as Narendra Modi stuns opposition with landslide win
The counting of hundreds of millions of votes in the general election started on Thursday morning
• The Bharatiya Janata Party declare victory as electronic counting sets Modi a commanding lead
• Counting of approximately 600 million votes began at 8am local time
• Final results due by the evening
Stay with us for live updates throughout the day.
All times UTC+4
20:21 Modi vows 'inclusive' India after landslide election win
Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed an "inclusive" future for all Indians on Thursday after a landslide election victory that crushed the Gandhi dynasty's comeback hopes once again.
"Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!," Mr Modi tweeted as delirious supporters of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated nationwide.
"The faith placed in our alliance is humbling and gives us strength to work even harder to fulfil people's aspirations," he said before arriving at BJP headquarters flashing victory signs with both hands and being showered in petals.
Although final results were yet to be published, a rolling vote count by the election commission showed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) increased its majority with 302 out of 543 elected lower house seats.
The BJP's main rivals Congress were on just 51 seats, with Rahul Gandhi – the great-grandson, grandson and son of three premiers - conceding defeat and congratulating Modi.
In an added personal humiliation Mr Gandhi, 48, also admitted he had lost Amethi, a seat long held by his famous family, to a former television star running for the BJP.
18:55 Imran Khan congratulates Modi on win
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has congratulated his Indian counterpart for success in a massive general election.
With early election results showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party with a commanding lead, Mr Khan tweeted on Thursday that he looked forward to working with Mr Modi "for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia".
Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations.
The two nuclear-armed rivals were close to a major conflict in February when Indian aircraft launched a strike in Pakistan in response to a February 14 suicide bombing in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir that killed 40 troops. India blamed the bombing on Pakistan-based militants.
Pakistan retaliated by shooting down a fighter jet the next day and detaining its pilot, who was later returned to India. Since then tension has eased between them.
18:20 Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed congratulates Modi on win
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said he has spoken to Mr Modi on Thursday, congratulating him on the BJP's victory.
"The UAE wishes India & its friendly people more development & prosperity," the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces said on Twitter.
Earlier this year, President Sheikh Khalifa honoured Mr Modi with the Zayed Medal, the UAE's highest civil honour.
18:10 Modi arrives at BJP HQ
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a hero's welcome at BJP headquarters.
Hundreds of supporters were held back by security guards and they reached to congratulate Mr Modi on leading the party to victory in the general election.
16:52 INC offer congratulations to BJP and Modi
Meanwhile, INC leader Rahul Gandhi said he will continue to spread his message of love.
16:38 Modi no longer Chowkidar ... but the spirit is at the next level
Prime Minister Modi dropped the word 'Chowkidar' from his Twitter name, as approximately 20 seats have been counted, but said the spirit of the message lives on.
The (presumably) newly re-elected Prime Minister said the people of India have chosen to protect the country from "casteism, communalism, corruption and cronyism."
Mr Modi said it is time to take the "Chowkidar spirit to the next level", before announcing that he would remove the prefix from his Twitter.
The concept of elected politicians as 'Chowkidars' has been one of the BJP's key election messages. But not everyone was pleased The National's Ruchi Kumar reported that some watchmen were upset by the message.
16:20 Rahul Gandhi concedes
The leader of the INC, Rahul Gandhi has conceded to BJP leader Narendra Modi.
Mr Gandhi said the people have made their decision and congratulated the Prime Minister and the BJP.
Mr Gandhi also conceded the seat of Amethi to BJP candidate Smriti Irani.
16:00 Modi humbled
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the faith placed in the BJP alliance is humbling and motivating.
Pictures of celebrations in the BJP headquarters have been shared across social media, showing the BJP President Amit Shah greeted by hundreds of supporters.
15:55 Imran Khan looks forward to peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia
15:40 More congratulations to Modi
More states have contacted Mr Modi to congratulate him to his assumed re-election for a second five-year term – this time to India's east.
China's President Xi Jinping "expressed satisfaction at the strong momentum of development in India-China relations" and said he looked forward to working with him, in a statement released by India's Minister of External Affairs.
Meanwhile, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also congratulated Mr Modi, calling him to say he hopes to continue to strengthen the two country's relations.
15:20 Six seats declared
While Narendra Modi and the BJP are running victory laps. Just six constituencies are set in stone. Four of them are in Karnataka state where BJP is winning 4-1. Mr Modi's party also pick up a win in Bihar and the single seat from the tiny westcoast state of Daman & Diu.
14:20 Moody's: Expect emphasis on supporting low incomes
Credit rating agency Moody's said it expects India's broad push toward fiscal consolidation to remain, although with greater policy emphasis on supporting low incomes, according to Bloomberg.
“Any credit implications of the outcome of India's general election will be determined by the policies adopted by the government in the next few years. These policies have yet to be formulated,” William Foster, vice president of the sovereign risk group at Moody's Investors Service said.
14:00 BJP win the first seat
Despite Mr Modi declaring victory, there has not been a single seat awarded to any party ... until now.
The first seat in the election has been awarded to the BJP in Haveri constituency in southwest Karnataka state.
The BJP candidate, Udasi SC won by a margin of more than 140,000 votes.
13:20 Modi declares victory
India's assumed Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi has declared victory, saying "India wins yet again!"
Mr Modi dominated this election, taking up most of the media time while running a comprehensive marketing campaign, focussing on his own image.
13:10 Analysis: India National Congress lost the Twitter election
While the BJP and its officials are doing a metaphorical victory lap on social media, the next biggest party, the India National Congress has been extremely quiet, writes Charles Capel.
This might be because for the INC there is not much to celebrate, but it is also indicative of a trend where the BJP has dominated social media in the election.
The INC account has not tweeted since yesterday. Neither has INC leader Rahul Gandhi.
Candidates for the BJP have flooded social media with praise of Mr Modi (who has two Twitter accounts). They have even adopted the word "Chowkidar", or gatekeeper, on social media using it as a prefix for their name.
There's been a lot of speculation about how hashtag influencing, inauthentic behaviour and WhatsApp messages might have influenced the election or even spread misleading information.
But what is clear, is that the BJP have dominated the online campaign. They have deployed social media's ability to turn men into idols. Brand Modi has never been stronger.
12:46 Afghan leader offers congratulations
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani joined world leaders offering their congratulations to Mr Modi on his assumed reelection.
"The government and the people of Afghanistan look forward to expanding cooperation between our two democracies," Mr Ghani said.
The Afghan President faces his own re-election this year, with a twice-delayed election due to take place in late September.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has only just been re-elected himself, also offered congratulations.
We are still waiting for a single seat to be declared in the election, although trends show a BJP majority of approximately 20.
12:30 Celebrations outside BJP headquarters in Mumbai
Celebrations have begun at BJP offices across India on the news of their expected victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
Supporters have been pictured letting off firecrackers, smoke bombs and dancing in celebration.
In New Delhi men dressed entirely in orange are pictured celebrating the win, while in Mumbai supporters in traditional Indian dress can be seen dancing in celebration.
The India Election Commission is yet to declare the winner of a single seat, but the predicted trends show a strong majority for Mr Modi's coalition.
11:45 India's neighbours Nepal and Sri Lanka congratulate Modi
The Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli is among the first of world leaders to congratulate Mr Modi on his, assumed, election win.
"I extend warmest congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for landslide election victory in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019," he said on Twitter.
Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena also sent his congratulations, saying he is looking forward to a "warm and constructive relationship".
11:30 Indians in UAE await election results
Supporters of the BJP and Congress are gathering in the UAE to await the results of the 2019 election.
Chandra Prakash, who oversees Kerala state for the Non-Resident India committee, is confident he will celebrate victory for the BJP in New Delhi.
“We have worked at the grass-root level and this is paying off,” Mr Prakash tells The National's Ramola Talwar Badam.
Supporters of Congress are coming together at the Indian association office in Sharjah to watch the election results on television.
“We believe the Congress numbers will move up in this election,” said T A Raveendran, former convener of the United Democratic Front in the UAE, an opposition alliance of the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala.
10:45 Slight adjustment to predicted trends
There's a slight adjustment to the Indian Election Commission's predicted seat gain in their latest updates, but the BJP still has a significant lead.
WATCH: The battle for India's soul
In the run-up to the elections, The National's Suhail Rather travelled to India to find out how the country will vote. Watch his documentary here:
10:30 A numbers game
Some 600 million people voted in India's election this year, in a record turnout the electoral commission said.
The turnout for the 2019 election is 67.11 per cent, slightly higher than the last vote. India added approximately 50 million people to their electorate since the last election in 2014.
The voting population increased from 850 million in 2014 to 900 million in 2019.
10:20 Modi's mother greets press
Narendra Modi's mother stepped outside to greet the media as her son's second term as Prime Minister appeared more secure.
10:00 Indian stocks hit record highs
Indian stock markets hit record highs while the rupee and bonds rallied as early vote counting in general elections showed the ruling National Democratic Alliance – of which the BJP is the largest party – with Narendra Modi at the helm winning a second term.
Mr Modi's government has had mixed success in its first term, facing criticism for slowing growth and a failure to create jobs while winning plaudits for implementing tough tax and banking reforms and infrastructure spending.
Investors expect a second term will give him time to carry through those reforms while pushing for more fiscal and monetary stimulus. The opposition fought the election on a policy platform promising better farm income and jobs.
The broader NSE index was up 2.55 per cent at 12,036.75 as of 0515 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 2.59 per cent higher at 40,123.86, crossing the 40,000 mark for the first time.
The partially convertible rupee was trading at 69.51 per dollar versus previous close of 69.6750.
09:35 India's Foreign Minister congratulates Modi on victory
The BJP has won the general election, the current Foreign Minister said.
"Many congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delivering such a massive victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party," Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter.
"I express my gratitude to the people of the country."
The BJP is predicted to win the election, but no seats have been declared.
09:00 BJP extends its lead
Electoral Commission data shows the BJP leading in 291 races, while the INC has an advantage in just 50 seats.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a party in Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu has 22, and the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) has 25 seats.
08:45 Modi leading in several races
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party were leading in several races as vote counting began on Thursday morning in India's massive general elections.
Election Commission data showed the Bharatiya Janata Party leading in contests for 206 seats, with its main rival, the Indian National Congress, ahead in 55 contests.
"Mr Modi's going to be the next prime minister, we are very assured of that," said Meenakshi Lekhi, a member of Parliament running for re-election in New Delhi.
The count was expected to conclude by the evening. In the world's largest democratic exercise, some 900 million people were registered to cast ballots for 542 seats in India's lower house of Parliament in seven phases of voting staggered over six weeks.
A party or coalition needs a simple majority, or 272 seats, to govern.
Updated: May 23, 2019 08:33 PM