In a stunning victory, the BJP more than doubled its votes from about 7.84 crore in 2009 to approximately 16.95 crore this time. The popular support is about 80% more than the previous best of about 9.43 crore votes garnered by the party under Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998. India has won! Bharat ki vijay. Achchhey din aane waale hain, Modi tweeted earlier in the day.
The BJP parliamentary board is scheduled to meet on Saturday to take a decision on post-poll issues; Narendra Modis formal election as the parliamentary party leader is expected on May 18 or 19 after which the NDA will stake a claim to form the government. Sources say the new government will take over in the later half of next week.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday to hand over the resignation of his council of ministers.
The BJP rode on a 'Modi wave' to emerge as a pan-India party, trouncing the Congress in Assam, breaching the Left-TMC stranglehold in West Bengal and Dravidian parties' dominance in Tamil Nadu, leaving footprints even in Kerala and registering its presence in BJD-dominated Odisha.
So comprehensive was the Modi effect that the BJP swept all seats in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Uttarakhand, and completely routed the Congress in Maharashtra, Haryana, Assam and Jharkhand.
In Seemandhra and Telangana, the Congress completely gave away to regional parties.
This is the first time since independence that a party has grown bigger than Congress, BJP president Rajnath Singh said, addressing a press conference at party headquarters. People had lost confidence in politics and the political class, but they have reposed faith in Narendra Modi, Singh said.
The BJP has taken its vote share to 31.8% from its previous best of 25.59% in 1998. Narendra Modi not only managed to arrest the BJP's consistent decline since 1998, he also succeeded in more than doubling the popular support that it had garnered in 2009.
Consequently, the BJP also managed to scale its previous Lok Sabha best of 182 seats (1998 and 1999 elections) fought under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The BJP won a clear majority of 284 Lok Sabha seats on its own with the NDA winning a total of 338.