Modi magic still working: BJP leading in 277 seats, crosses half-way mark

NEW DELHI: Counting of votes to decide the fate of 8,049 candidates is underway. Going by the early leads, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP has crossed the halfway mark on its own. The NDA is ahead in more than 300 seats.
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The BJP is doing well in most states, including the three heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, wrested by the Congress in December.
It is also ahead in Karnataka and Delhi. The Congress is ahead in Punjab and Tamil Nadu, where it joined hands with the DMK.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is trailing in Amethi, a seat Congress has not lost in the last three decades, except in 1998. It will be a huge boost for the BJP if its candidate Smriti Irani registers a win against the Congress chief. Gandhi is also contesting from Kerala’s Wayanand, where he is leading.

Elections were held on 542 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats and a party or alliance needs 272 seats to form government.

Five days after exit polls predicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government would retain power at the Centre but Opposition parties rejected the findings