NEW DELHI – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was confirmed on Friday as the winner of general elections by a landslide.
Modi has won 290 seats out of a total 542, 18 more than the 272 seats needed to secure an absolute majority. The BJP is also leading in another 13 constituencies.
The opposition Indian National Congress has secured at least 50 seats and is leading in other two, a slight improvement in comparison to the 44 seats won in 2014, one of its worst ever results.
The win means the BJP will not need to form a coalition government.
Modi celebrated his victory on Thursday night with hundreds of his followers at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, hours after his opponents, including the INC, had acknowledged the prime minister’s resounding victory.
“It is not a victory of an any party or an individual candidate,” Modi said. “It was the Indian people who were fighting. And today, the people of India have proven me right. And today if anyone has won, it is India who has won. If anyone has won, it is democracy that has won.”
Several exits polls on Sunday had given BJP and its allies more than 280 seats, more than half of the 542 of the Lok Sabha seats needed to form a majority government.
With an average voter participation of more than 60 percent, it is estimated that around 600 million Indian cast their vote in the elections, the largest democratic exercise in the world.