Lok Sabha Election 2024 results:

New Delhi:

The third consecutive victory of the NDA in the Lok Sabha election is a “victory of the people,” Prime Minster Narendra Modi said this evening, as the counting of votes continued across the country.

The report card, going by the targets laid down by PM Modi, had been less than stellar. Far from crossing 400, the NDA, at 9 pm, stands at 292, just 20 seats above the majority mark of 272. The BJP is at 240-plus, way behind the magic figure of 370. The drop has been accompanied by a boost to the Opposition — the Congress alone is expecting to win 100 seats, up from the 52 it won in 2019.

The low score for the BJP also means that it has to pull together with allies — something the party has not done since 2019. In fact, after winning 303 seats in 2019, the BJP had rationed the cabinet berths for allies, a factor that had upset Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Today, PM Modi thanked not only Mr Kumar, but also Andhra Pradesh ally Chandrababu Naidu. Neither have been the most steadfast of partners. Both Mr Kumar and Mr Naidu had been part of the Opposition, walking out of the NDA over various issues. Mr Kumar, in fact, has acquired a reputation for his frequent back-and-forths. But now, together, they can add 28 seats to the NDA tally — seats crucial to maintain majority.

“I assure the people of the four states that went to assembly polls that the Centre will not leave any stone unturned for their development… Under Nitish babu, the NDA fared well in Bihar,” PM Modi said.  

But he also made it clear that the BJP workers should not lose sight of the positives. The third straight victory for a Prime Minister is a record that has not been replicated since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, he reminded the workers.

There was also the matter of the party adding a few more states to its bag — Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh, won along with Chandrababu Naidu. The party has also retained Arunachal Pradesh. The party has doubled numbers in Telangana and swept much of the Hindi heartland.