New Delhi: As early trends indicated the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retaining power, some big names from the Opposition seemed to be failing.
Shashi Tharror and Ajay Maken of the Congress were trailing in Thiruvananthapuram and New Delhi, respectively. Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Karanatak Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, was trailing in Mandya.
Prakash Raj, fighting as an independent from Bengaluru central, was trailing.
Rajnath Singh was leading in Lucknow and so was Raghavendra Rathore in Jaipur. Rita Bahuguna was ahead in Allahabad.
In early trends, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead in 75 seats, according to CNN News18 TV channel. Of the 127 seats for which trends are available, the Congress was ahead in 13 seats.
Counting for votes started at 8AM. The bitterly-fought seven-phase exercise stretched over 39 days and saw the highest-ever turnout for an election at 67.1%.
Catch all the live updates here: Lok Sabha Election Results 2019
According to exit polls released Sunday, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is expected to get anywhere between 242 and 365 seats.
The Congress, which was decimated in the 2014 general elections when it got a mere 44 seats, is seen bettering its performance. The United Progressive Alliance, led by the grand old party, is seen getting between 82 and 164 seats, according to the pollsters.
In a major shift of stance from 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode to power on his ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ agenda, he this time sought another term on the basis of strong and clean governance, rooting out corruption, providing social welfare schemes directly to the beneficiaries and muscular nationalism.
The opposition ran its campaign accusing the government of polarising the country on communal lines, the highly unpopular demonetization that led to job losses, hurting small traders, ignoring the farmers while catering to industrialists and mismanaging the economy.