As it happened: India election

Key Points

  • India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called its predicted landslide win a "people's victory".
  • The governing Congress has conceded defeat with Rahul and Sonia Gandhi both taking responsibility.
  • The nine-phase five-week long campaign witnessed bitter exchanges between all parties.
  • Indian officials are still counting more than 550 million votes cast during its marathon general election.
  • Turnout for this election broke records with 66.38% of those eligible casting a vote.
  • Security around the country has been stepped up to prevent any violence . All times BST (GMT+1).

    Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the Indian election vote count. The 551 million votes from more than 1.8 million electronic voting machines are being tallied with early results indicating a strong lead for the main opposition BJP party.


    The BBC's Shilpa Kannan : The first loss for Congress might be from Baghpat in UP where ally & former Civil Aviation minister Ajit Singh trailing badly #Verdict2014


    There was a record turnout in this year's poll, with 66.38 percent of India's 814 million eligible voters casting ballots during the six-week contest. BBC Correspondents will be providing regular updates and analysis of the results and what they mean for India's powerbrokers.


    Whoever wins this election needs to secure 272 seats out of 543 constituencies. Within a few hours we expect to have sense indication of who the winners and losers are after five gruelling and sometimes bitter weeks of campaigning.

    Indian election officials open an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a counting centre in New Delhi on May 16, 2014. Indian election officials are well on the way of unlocking the votes contained in the Electronic Voting Machines

    The status is known for 424 out of 543 constituencies and the BJP is leading in 225 of these which appears to put it on a secure footing, the BBC's Soutik Biswas reports.


    In the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh which sends 80 MPs to parliament, the latest results show that the BJP leads in 57 seats and the local Samajwadi party in nine.

    Policemen look on as results are announced at a Delhi voting centre Security has been tightened, but even the police are not immune from the excitement of a vote count at this Delhi count centre
    05:56: Sanjoy Majumder BBC News, Delhi

    The scene at the BJP headquarters resembles a carnival. The entire building has been decorated with the party flag, giant posters of Narendra Modi have been placed outside and large television screens are displaying the vote count. And as early trends showed the BJP grabbing a lead, the cheers began.


    Facebook have announced that from the day elections were announced to the day polling ended, 29 million people in India made 227 million interactions (posts, comments, shares, and likes) regarding the Indian Elections on Facebook.

    06:00: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    At an election campaign rally, Mr Modi had said if he lost the vote, he would go back to selling tea - a reference to his younger days when he worked at a tea stall. That, of course, will not happen any more. The writing on the wall is quite clear now - it's BJP all the way and it's leader Narendra Modi is set to be India's prime minister.

    06:01: Sanjoy Majumder BBC News, Delhi

    "We're very confident," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said with a big smile as he drove in to the BJP headquarters.


    BBC Hindi's Divya Arya has comments from the Congress party. Sanjay Jha says: "We expected to do better, but it seems we could not communicate our achievements to the general public properly. We cannot blame only Rahul Gandhi, he did his bit, it seems to indicate a systemic failure of the party."


    Not a single seat has actually declared but the picture is becoming clearer. We have early indications of the trends in 475 out of 543 constituencies and the BJP is leading in 240 of these. The Congress is ahead in 50.


    The BBC's Owen Bennett Jones on BBC World TV highlights how this is a phenomenal personal achievement for Narendra Modi. He cites an encounter with young BJP worker who - when pressed as to why a BJP win was so important to him replied: "Because America's scared!".

    06:09: Yogita Limaye Business reporter, BBC News, Mumbai

    The main Indian stock index the Sensex crosses 25,000 points - surging more than 4% to another record as early election results point to a resounding victory for the BJP.

    06:18: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    NDTV is reporting that the Congress has already accepted defeat. And the party has come out in defence of Rahul Gandhi who led its election campaign. Party spokesman Satyavrat Chaturvedi says it's "a collective failure and Rahul Gandhi alone is not to be blamed". But can Mr Gandhi ignore the responsibility now that he led the party from the front?

    Photograph taken on November 14, 2013, Congress Party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi walks as he pays his respects at Shantivana memorial  The Congress has already come out in defence of Congress party campaign chief Rahul Gandhi

    BBC Hindi's Divya Arya at the Congress party headquarters reports: The Congress Office bears a deserted look and media far outnumber the small number of supporters here. Even the policemen stationed outside can be seen idling around or playing with their smartphones.


    The BBC's Pratiksha Ghildial reports that celebrations are picking up at the BJP headquarters. Firecrackers, drums and giant party flags. The road is covered with the remains of firecrackers and the smell of smoke in the air.

    An Indian mahout adorns the face of an elephant with a party logo in the vicinity of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi on May 16, 2014 Even elephants have become election paraphernalia on this day
    WhatsApp BBC

    BBC News is the first broadcaster to provide election updates via WhatsApp. Follow the account's status updates by connecting to: +91 96 50 801273

    BJP celebrations Celebrations are already under way at the BJP headquarters


    The latest from the election commission shows that the BJP is leading in 266 seats and the Congress party has a lead in only 45 constituencies.

    Dr_Hemant in Mumbai

    tweets: We have finally moved above caste politics congress created. India wants to stand United #Results2014

    07:02: Breaking News

    India's governing Congress party admits defeat as early indicators give strong lead to the main opposition BJP


    Geeta Pandey, BBC News, Delhi, tweets: It's going to be the worst-ever showing for the Congress party - it's leading only in 50 seats #Results2014

    Tanvir Kohli in India

    tweets: Rajiv Gandhi earned biggest victory for Cong ever,his son #Rahul managed biggest defeat!#DynastyPolitics #IndiaDecides2014 #riseOfTeaSeller


    Although no seats have officially been declared, early indications suggest the BJP alliance, led by Narendra Modi, is on course for an absolute majority. You can read the full story here.


    Sanjoy Majumder, BBC News, Delhi tweets: The flag's flying high at the BJP HQ

    Indian police personnel sit outside Congress Party headquarters in New Delhi on May 16, 2014. The mood is quiet and subdued at the Congress headquarters and even the police have time to sit around.
    Vipin Zamvar in Edinburgh, Scotland

    tweets: Today is India's real tryst with destiny. Hope the future is very very bright. #Elections2014 #IndiaDecides2014 #NarendraModi #BJP #India

    07:16: Andrew North South Asia correspondent

    When he was a boy, Narendra Modi, India's new prime minister, loved to fly kites. His younger brother, Prahlad, remembers how he had to hold the spool of string while Narendra did the flying. Read more about the BJP leader's family and hometown.

    Preeti Sharma in New Delhi

    tweets: End of two eras in Indian politics -Dynasty and Coalition #Results2014 #IndiaDecides2014 #PMNaMo #ElectionResults #VerdictOnZee #Aajtak

    07:19: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    The dismal showing by the Congress party shows the widespread voter anger against its leadership and policies. The party's government over the last few years was seen as mired in serious corruption scandals and considered ineffective. The verdict will also be seen as a vote of no-confidence in the leadership of Rahul Gandhi who led the party's election campaign from the front.

    Sakul in Jammu

    emails: It is the first time in the history of the country that the youth is more excited about 16 May than 14 February.


    Yogita Limaye, Business reporter, BBC News, Mumbai, tweets: Every once in a while people gathered outside stock exchange are screaming 'Modi Modi' #IndiaVotes2014 @BBCNewsAsia @BBCWorld

    Aastha Sharma in Kolkata

    tweets: India is the land where heart is king. This is a change of heart and more. People's mandate reigns supreme. #NaMo #IndiaDecides2014

    Indian election officials, polling agents and observers gather as Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are scrutinised at a counting centre in Kolkata on May 16, 2014. The vote count at a Calcutta counting centre.

    Residents of Varanasi

    BBC Hindi's Nitin Srivastava reports that residents of Varanasi, especially BJP supporters, have started coming out of their homes. Most are not even bothered enough to watch the final results and numbers for respective parties, assuming the BJP will make a clean sweep.


    NDTV reports that the Congress party has been "decimated" in Mumbai.

    07:39: Andrew North South Asia correspondent

    tweets Congress party Chief Minister in Assam state offers to resign. Will Rahul Gandhi follow his lead? #Verdict2014


    The BBC's Shilpa Kannan tweets: Key contests: Rahul Gandhi leading in Amethi 5983 votes, Narendra Modi leading in Varnasi by 60625 & Arvind Kejriwal trailing #Results2014


    Congress has dominated Indian politics since Independence. They defied gloomy exit polls in 2004 and in 2009 did better than expected, but this time it appears as if public anger at corruption and concern over the economy sent votes to the BJP and its allies. At the helm of the party dominated by the Gandhi dynasty is Profile: Sonia Gandhi, widow of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.


    In his first tweet since counting began, BJP leader Narendra Modi tweets: "India has won. Good times are coming."

    07:49: Soutik Biswas India correspondent

    The scale of victory is truly gigantic in India's fractured polity where no party has managed to get a simple majority since Congress in 1984 won 415 seats riding on a sympathy wave after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. There is more on my blog on the BJP's historic win.


    Geeta Pandey, BBC News, Delhi tweets: Sonia Gandhi leads in Rae Bareli by 144819 votes; Narendra Modi leads by 559935 votes in Vadodara #Results2014


    In his first public appearance after election results began coming out, Narendra Modi visited his mother Heeraben to seek her blessings. TV channels showed her feeding him sweets. A triumphant BJP leader said "India has won. Good times are coming" in his first tweet.


    Amethi is the traditional family constituency of the Gandhi family - it was formerly held by Rahul Gandhi's father and former PM Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1991. Mr Gandhi is defending a massive majority. He won over 70% of the vote in Amethi in 2009 - the BJP candidate came third with less than 10%. So far it looks as if Mr Gandhi is only leading by 2,000 votes.

    calcutta celebration

    Supporters of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal are out in force on the streets of Calcutta.


    Congress has never got fewer than 100 seats. Right now it appears to be leading in fewer than 50 seats.


    Twitter India tweets: This Tweet from @narendramodi is now the most RTd Tweet ever from India. …

    kirron kher

    Bollywood actress Kirron Kher is standing for the BJP and is currently leading by 24724 votes for the Chandigarh constituency.


    Indian business has sent its congratulations with the federation for the chambers of commerce congratulating "the nation for giving a decisive mandate". Sidarth Birla, its president said: "A clear mandate is positive for India".

    Supporters of India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hold a portrait of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for BJP, during celebrations outside the party headquarters in New Delhi 16 May 2014
    Supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrate after learning of initial poll results outside their party office in Mumbai 16 May 2014

    Supporters of India's Bharatiya Janata Party celebrate in the streets of New Delhi and Mumbai


    Latest from the election count: BJP is leading in 277 seats. With their allies, they could well break the 300 barrier. Congress meanwhile is still struggling by leading in below 50 seats. It could be a grim day for their supporters, correspondents say.


    The Wall Street Journal tweets: Google India's homepage celebrates elections with doodle of inked voter's finger.

    08:33: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    After trailing initially, Mulayam Singh Yadav of the regional Samajwadi Party is leading from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. But his party, which is in power in India's most populous state, has been reduced to a single digit - it's leading only in 7 seats.

    Arun BC in Chennai

    tweets: Congratulations @narendramodi ji. Hoping better economy, corruption free India, joining of rivers. #Raceto272 #IndiaDecides2014

    08:47: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    It appears to be a near-total sweep by the BJP in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. The party is leading in 68 of the 80 seats and its ally Apna Dal is ahead in two others. The Congress' tally is reduced to a dismal three and the two important regional parties there - Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party - have been reduced to single digits.


    In the run up to the election, Mr Modi's close aide Amit Shah spoke of a "TsuNamo, a Modi tsunami", and his prediction seems to have come true.


    Senior BJP leader and patriarch LK Advani arrives at the BJP headquarters and addresses party workers and media. Results indicate that the BJP and its allies are well beyond the 272 mark needed to form a government.

    Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) workers wear masks of BJP prime ministeral candidate Narendra Modi as they celebrate outside the party office in Mumbai on 16 May 2014
    A supporter of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wears a mask of party leader and India's next prime minister Narendra Modi as he celebrates with others preliminary results that show the BJP winning by a landslide, in Bangalore, India, Friday, 16 May 2014

    In Mumbai and Bangalore, jubilant supporters of the BJP party wear a mask of leader Narendra Modi


    NDTV tweets: #Results2014: AAP Congratulates Narendra Modi … #IndiaDecides2014:


    Amnesty UK tweets: Will India's politicians deliver on their human rights promises this election? @AIIndia blog


    LK Advani, veteran BJP leader, speaks: "We've won in places where we had never won before. Today's verdict is against corruption, mis-governance and dynastic rule. This verdict is historic." Analysts say that the BJP owes its victory to convincing voters across class, caste and religious boundaries.

    Chief Minister of western Gujarat state and main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi (L) listens to his mother Hira Ba

    Narendra Modi made sure that one of the first things he did after the scale of his victory became clear was to visit his mother.


    BBC South Asia analyst Ethirajan Anbarasan reports that early elections trends from Tamil Nadu state show that the ruling AIADMK is heading for a stunning victory. If the trends continue the party, led by Ms Jayalalitha, could emerge as the third biggest political party in the next parliament.

    09:04: Breaking News

    State Broadcaster DD News has said, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Narendra Modi and congratulated him on his party's victory.


    The Election Commission says that the first three actual results have been declared - all of them BJP victories.


    The Hindustan Times in New Delhi on their election results live page is leading on Modi's tweet after what it says is a "massive victory".


    Narendra Modi may have visited his mother but in this piece, the BBC's Andrew North describes a visit to his home town. He "has long kept his family at a distance, something he trumpeted during his election campaign by declaring that he had "no-one to be corrupt for".

    Indian Hindus riot in the smoke-shrouded streets of Ahmedabad, the main city in the western Indian state of Gujarat in this March 1, 2002 file photo Hindus riot on the streets of Ahmedabad, scene of deadly riots in 2002

    Many Indians still have profound concerns about Narendra Modi, because of allegations he could have done more to stop, indeed may have even encouraged communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 in which at least 1,000 died, most of them Muslims. The BJP points to repeated inquiries which have failed to indict him.

    09:19: Rahul Tandon BBC News, Calcutta

    Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has swept West Bengal even though Narendra Modi has done extremely well. This is an indication there are still many parts of India where he didn't make that much of an impact


    The BBC's Soutik Biswas in Delhi points out that the BJP looks set to win all seven Delhi seats.


    Narendra Modi wins Vadodara in Gujarat seat by record margin of 570,128 votes, NDTV reports. The BBC's Andrew North describes a visit to his home town Vadnagar, also in the state and describes how the leader "has long kept his family at a distance."


    Final results are trickling in and they are being mapped out live.

    Darpan S Shah in Bangalore

    tweets: #Results2014 My first vote and India creates history!! Can't be more happy! #PMNaMo #May16WithArnab #IndiaDecides2014 #IMODIfiedIndia


    The BBC's Divya Arya tweets Slice of dynasty politics at Congress HQ, supporters still want #Gandhi family to save them!! #Verdict2014 @BBCHindi

    09:45: Rahul Tandon BBC News, Calcutta
    Calcutta celebrations

    Here in Calcutta supporters of Trinamool Congress are celebrating. The drums are beating sweets are being distributed and people are throwing colour at each other. There are flags everywhere


    Captain Amarinder Singh of for the Congress party has appeared on NDTV thanking his supporters. He has bucked the trend and won in Amritsar against Arun Jaitley for the BJP. A notable exception today.


    Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has lost to Mr Modi in India's spiritual capital, Varanasi. Mr Kejriwal had put up a valiant campaign but results show he was clearly no match for the BJP's PM candidate. AAP had contested all the seats in the parliament and is leading in four seats.


    It looks as if Rahul Gandhi has extended his lead in Amethi. This will be a huge relief for a party that is not quite yet leading in the 53 seats needed to be the official oppositoin.

    Indian tea vendor Sonu watches election result on a television at his stall in Varanasi on May 16, 2014 One tea vendor in the holy city of Varanasi - a key election battleground - is glued to his television as the results stream in.
    10:04: Nitin Srivastava BBC Hindi, Varanasi

    Varanasi appears to have gone into an overdrive of emotions and celebration. People who have voted here for Mr Modi now expect him to deliver on proper electricity, cleanliness and development promises made before the elections.

    10:13: Salman Ravi BBC Hindi, Delhi

    At the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters workers continue to be glued to the television. As news of the AAP maintaining a lead in several Punjab seats was flashed, there was jubilation.


    Rajinikanth adds in another tweet: My congratulations to Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha ji on her landslide victory.


    Dr Sagarika Dutt, a South Asia specialist at Nottingham Trent University, says: "The BJP's victory has come at a critical time. The economy needs to be revived and economic growth needs to translate into social progress, as Indian political elites fully recognise. The failures of previous governments have led to the politics of discontent and is reflected in the emergence of new political parties such as the Aam Admi Party."

    10:36: Soutik Biswas India correspondent

    The BJP party has also succeeded in picking up both urban and rural votes at a time when parties like the outgoing Congress maintained that the key to power in Delhi mainly depended on the rural vote. My blog considers whether this election has shattered India's old orthodoxies.

    10:38: Nitin Srivastava BBC Hindi, Varanasi

    Celebrations at the Narendra Modi's election office in Varanasi with BJP supporters bursting crackers, dancing and drumbeats.

    Celebrations at the Narendra Modis election office in Varanasi

    The election office of Congress candidate Ajay Rai is situated just 100m away and is completely deserted at the moment.

    Election office of Congress candidate Ajay Rai

    A news conference with the BJP is just about to get under way.


    The former president of the party Venkaiah Naidu is among the BJP leaders present at the press conference.

    Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    tweets: Footballer Bhaichung Bhutia of Trinamul Congress trailing behind BJP's SS Ahluwalia in Darjeeling #Results2014


    A conch shell is sounding and the crowds are erupting in jubilation at the scene. The BJP dignitaries have been garlanded and proffered sweets. A traditional celebration at this first news conference.

    Amit.A in Mumbai

    tweets: Let all BJP supporters, Congress supporters, AAP supporters become friends and work for the betterment of India. #Results2014 #CongratsNaMo


    Rajnath Singh, current president of the BJP, is about to speak but the authorities are finding it difficult to control the room. There is too much commotion and the press conference is struggling to begin.


    Here it goes and Rajnath Singh speaks: " The people of this country have given us a great responsibility. Perhaps after 1984 this is the first time any political party of this country has got a clear majority. In Independent Indian history BJP is the only party which has succeeded in eclipsing the Congress party. We have crossed the geographical, political and social boundaries. All caste, creed, race, we have transcended that and the BJP has become victorious."


    He pays tribute to Narendra Modi and says there is no doubt that the country has endorsed him. "He worked so hard," Mr Singh says.


    He pays tributes to Mr Modi and claims that this result will begin a new era in independent India. "Now the lotus [BJP's symbol] will really bloom," the BJP president says.

    F.Lalramhluni in Delhi

    tweets: Its time Gandhi family should step back from the limelight in the Congress family!!

    fire  crackers Fire crackers have been set off by jubilant BJP supporters.

    Rajnath Singh is still paying tribute to the BJP victory saying that the myth that the BJP is only for urban dwellers has been exploded. He claims the party can truly represent the rural poor, the slum dwellers.


    Rajnath Singh pointedly includes the women of India in this victory: "I also welcome the womenfolk of our country."


    Senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party, Amit Shah (C) and Ravi Shankar Prasad (2R) celebrate victory at their party's headquarters in New Delhi on 16 May 2014 BJP senior leaders Amit Shah, centre and Ravi Shankar Prasad, left, celebrate in New Delhi on Friday

    But Rajnath Singh has a strident reminder to party supporters, indeed the people of India: "Don't lose your discipline, Don't use any words that are controversial or provocative."


    UK Prime Minister David Cameron tweets: PM: Congratulations @narendramodi on victory in India's elections. Keen to work together to get the most from UK-India relationship


    BBC Tamil reporter in Chennai, Muralidharan, says there are celebrations are going on at the HQ of the regional AIADMK party, which has emerged with the third highest number of seats. But also a realisation that the margin of the BJP's victory leaves regional parties with no real bargaining power.

    11:10: Sanjoy Majumder BBC News, Delhi

    Young men with "Modi for PM" emblazoned on their t-shirts danced, chanting his name. Others signed a huge banner with their hero's picture, congratulating him and even advising him on how to run the country. And the street outside the party headquarters is already resembling a battlefield, strewn with the remains of firecrackers, the air thick with smoke.

    Yash Hirawat in Jaipur
    Screengrab of tweet

    tweets: What now? :p #Results2014 #CongratsNaMo #NaMoWinsIndia #Elections2014 #ElectionResults #PMNaMo


    UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement: "I congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP on their success and look forward to forging an even closer partnership with India in the months ahead."

    RPN Singh from the Indian National Congress

    tweets: My gratitude to Congress workers,supporters who worked so hard in my election.Despite defeat,am happy we fought a development based campaign

    11:25: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    Security has been tight on the streets of Delhi for vote counting and a large number of policemen can be seen near the counting centres. Some roads, leading to the counting centres, have been closed to traffic since the morning.


    Tom Vadakkan, Congress spokesperson says: "We accept the defeat gracefully but this is democracy, we will correct our mistakes and bounce back. It is a disappointing tally but we'll look into what happened at ground zero." He does add, however, that Modi dominated the airwaves.


    Prominent Indian politician and writer Shashi Tharoor tweets: Called my BJP rival O.Rajagopal to compliment him on a tough race. Accepted his congratulations. Now the hard work of Opposition begins.

    A man pours tea from a kettle with a portrait of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and India's next prime minister Narendra Modi, outside the BJP party office in New Delhi, Friday, 16 May 2014

    Tea is being poured from a kettle bearing a portrait of India's next Prime Minister Narendra Modi

    trend map Trending in India right now
    Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    tweets: Modi reaches BJP's Gandhinagar office, flashes the victory sign #Results2014

    Shilpa Kannan BBC News, Delhi

    tweets: Tipped to be Finance Min .@arunjaitley loses toAmarinder Singh in Amritsar but can still be in the govt thru Rajya Sabha route #Results2014

    Gaurav Chaudhary in Delhi

    texts: I hope Modi will be able to view issues like decriminalisation of homosexuality with a liberal and modern perspective even if they contradict the religious views that many associate with his party.

    Yogita Limaye Business reporter, BBC News, Mumbai

    tweets: Stock exchange broker's forum distributes sweets celebrating the market highs causes by the results. #IndiaElections


    Samantha Barry, BBC World News social media producer, reports that in the past day there have been 230,000 tweets on Modi. About 63% of recent tweets come from India with the UK, Pakistan, Canada and the US also commenting.


    The latest results from the election commission show that the BJP is leading in 228 seats and has won 51. Congress is leading in 42 having won 5.


    Rahul Gandhi, who led the Congress party campaign has spoken: "I start by congratulating the new government, they've done really well. The Congress has done really badly, we have a lot to think about. As its vice-president I hold myself responsible".


    The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder points out that the BJP has never crossed 200 seats on their own at an Indian election before. They knew they would do well, but they had not expected to do this well.


    Sonia Gandhi has also spoken and taken responsibility: "We hope that the new government will not compromise on the country's unity and interests of the people. Whatever votes we have got, I thank party workers for them. I take responsibility for our loss."

    Rajiv Naik in Livingston, Scotland

    emails: The world should respect the clear mandate given by the Indian people - a clear anti-incumbency vote and a clarion call for a fresh start. Narendra Modi will lead India to its rightful place at the top table.

    Modi in the crowd Narendra Modi is swamped by supporters, security and media after visiting his mother

    More than half a million people chose NOTA - None of the Above - what does that say about India's politicians? The BBC's Jastinder Khera met some people who plumped for Nota: .


    BBC Monitoring's Vikas Pandey reports that the top hashtags in India are about Mr Modi. #CongratsNaMo #Modiheadsto7RCR #Mission 272 #IMODIfiedIndia


    Who are the winners and losers of this election? Among the more notable losses in this poll are the Congress party's billionaire candidate from Bangalore South Nandan Nilekani and top BJP leader Arun Jaitley. BBC Monitoring takes a look.

    The BJP's Arun Jaitley is taking on the Congress' Amarinder Singh The BJP's Arun Jaitley (left) lost to the Congress party's Amarinder Singh
    Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

    Sonia and Rahul Gandhi - mother and son - made statements and they both took responsibility for defeat.

    Tarique Anwer in New Delhi

    tweets: It is indeed an achievement for Congress MPs who have made it this time. Pat on your back. Be a responsible opposition now.


    Analyst Paranjoy Thakurta Guha says the world's largest democracy has swung to the right, and decisively so. But he also cautions that Narendra Modi now faces a very daunting task.


    There is carnage for other parts of the political spectrum too. India's Leftist parties are heading for a rout in their home state of West Bengal. Trends suggest that they are winning between 2-3 seats in the state that was once their stronghold, says BBC Monitoring's Vikas Pandey.


    One of India's national daily newspapers seems to have grabbed attention with an unusual front page, on the day of the country's highly-anticipated election results. The Indian Express headline on Friday 16 May says simply: "Headline awaited". The BBC's News from Elsewhere blog looks at this further.

    Indian Express newspaper

    Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calls Narendra Modi and congratulates him on his "resounding" win in the polls.


    India's general elections are making big headlines in neighbouring Pakistan. Newspapers like Express Tribune are running live pages to give minute-by-minute update on the results.


    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has tweeted to say he has congratulated Narendra Modi: "I've spoken to @narendramodi and congratulated him on his success. I look forward to strengthening ties between India and Australia."


    Rahul Gandhi first won a seat in parliament in 2004 and has been seen as the next in line to inherit the Congress crown. But many observers wonder if he ever really had the appetite for entering the political fray. The BBC has profiled him.


    Narendra Modi is currently addressing a victory rally in his constituency of Vadodara


    His supporters are chanting "Modi, Modi, Modi!"


    As he thanks his supporters, the crowds are shouting with jubilation. "People wanted me to say something since the morning, I said I would speak at Vadodara because you all have the first right over me. I gave you only 50 minutes, you gave by more than half a million votes," he tells them.


    Narendra Modi, the man set to lead India, carries on telling the public that he, the media, indeed India has not seen the like of what has happened today: " In the 60-year history of Indian independence, I have never seen this in the Indian media, what you have done in our country."


    Constantly cheered by his supporters he carries on: "I thank you from all my heart. You've given me a huge responsibility."


    Meanwhile, the BBC's Sameer Hashmi in Mumbai tweeted this image of a vast poster of Mr Modi at the BJP headquarters there.

    Narendra Modi poster

    "This has shown what people themselves they can do, how much they can do. I want to say in future that this is the strength of a country's democracy..." But Narendra Modi has to pause as he is drowned out by his supporters. But then he carries on. "You see wherever Modi is standing he somehow understands your problems, the problems of people."


    As Narendra Modi talks, he is confident and energetic: "Brothers and sisters in this election, Gujarat has broken several records. It has given 26 out of 26 seats to the BJP. When I used to say this [was possible] they used to poke fun at me. Even if we had got 25 out of 26 they would laugh...this is not an ordinary victory." The speech is a tribute to his loyal constituency.


    The crowd's enthusiasm drowns out Narendra Modi once again: "Please.... Calm yourself.... Shall I speak. ....If you allow me?


    He is both avuncular and authoritative as the crowd's noise continues to rise. "My turn to speak not yours." But when he gets the chance to speak, he says "This is the first election that has been led by people born after independence. This is a fresh blood government. These people were born in free India. They have elected the government."


    Such comments, emphasising that the older pre-Independence generation who have dominated elections from now are no longer in the ascendancy, is a clear attempt to consign Congress and its support base to history.


    Narendra Modi says: "Brothers and sisters, you have faith in me and I have faith in you."


    "Real government doesn't belong to a community. It belongs to the entire country. The real government will belong from Kashmir on top to Kanya Kumari - that is a real government."

    Narendra Modi

    "I want to give you this trust. I want to say to people that we have not only put slogans, we have shown it, we have proven it."


    Narendra Modi: "Sabka saath, sabka vikas - taking everyone along and growth for everyone - is my motto."


    He says: "You have all loved me a lot." And then - and perhaps some may dispute this next statement - "even my opponents have loved me a lot."

    14:20: Breaking News

    At a boisterous rally in his home state of Gujarat, incoming Indian PM Narendra Modi hails a "landmark" election victory by his BJP party


    But the Indian likely PM-to-be also talks of inclusive politics: "Even if we've won a clear majority, it's our responsibility to take everyone along".


    "Even two-year-olds were chanting our slogan Abki Baar Modi Sarkaar, This means we'll have supporters 15-16 years later too!" And finally Narendra Modi mops his brow and is led away from the podium.


    India's next prime minister is the son of a tea seller. Despite the momentum and vast surge of support witnessed today he is a divisive politician - loved and loathed in equal measure. The BBC has a full profile.


    According to the AFP news agency, Downing Street has said that Mr Modi has accepted an invitation from UK Prime Minister David Cameron to visit Britain.


    Besides Gujarat where BJP has won all 26 seats, the party has also swept Rajasthan (winning all 25 seats) and Madhya Pradesh (winning 27 of the 29 seats). In Chhattisgarh, it's won 10 of the 11 seats

    Gaurav Sawant Indian journalist

    tweets: The real power behind @narendramodi. Youth Brigade. Worked relentlessly to capture social media space

    BJP youth supporters

    Mr Modi's BJP has swept Uttar Pradesh - it has won 71 of the 80 seats and two more have been won by ally Apna Dal, the BBC's Geeta Pandey reports.


    Uttar Pradesh - India's most populous state with more than 200 million people and 80 MPs - is considered a gateway to Delhi. And it's said that for any party to be able to rule India, it must first do well in Uttar Pradesh, our correspondent says.

    Fireworks at Dashasamedh Ghat (16 May 2014) BJP supporters set off firecrackers to celebrate the election results in Varanasi

    The Congress Working Committee, which includes senior party leadership, is expected to meet on 19 May in the wake of its worst ever electoral performance, reports PTI news agency quoting Congress leaders.


    Chief of Bahujan Samaj Party and Dalit leader Mayawati was considered one of the most powerful women in India until a few years ago. But she has been out of favour since losing the 2012 assembly election in Uttar Pradesh state, the BBC's Geeta Pandey says. And now, her fall from grace is complete - her party has been completely wiped out by a resurgent BJP and has failed to win even one seat in the parliament, our correspondent notes.


    Narendra Modi's victorious tweet "India has won, good days are about to come" has been retweeted close to a record 60,000 times in India.

    16:27: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    Smaller, regional parties have played an important role in Indian politics in the last few elections as no party managed to win an outright majority. The BJP with its spectacular win has broken that trend. And this is bound to reduce the clout the regional parties and leaders have had with the federal government.

    US National Security Council

    tweets: US congratulates BJP on its victory in India's historic election; we look forward to working w/ govt once formed to advance our partnership


    Despite its tweet congratulating the BJP, the White House has yet to comment directly on Narendra Modi becoming India's new prime minister.

    Rahul Gandhi (16 May 2014) Rahul Gandhi is seen shortly before addressing a press conference at the party HQ after his defeat

    The youth of India led the front in this election, rising above differences of caste and creed, Narendra Modi told a huge crowd gathered in Ahmedabad following his victory.

    16:48: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    The voters have shown their disenchantment with the Congress. For the party now, it's time to take stock of what went wrong and start work on the long road to recovery. For the moment though, questions are being asked about whether the Gandhis are capable of leading the party any longer and calls are growing louder for the heads to roll.

    Lotus illumination on the River Ganges in Varanasi (16 May 2014) The BJP's symbol, a lotus flower, is displayed on the River Ganges in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
    16:55: Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi

    As night settles over what has undoubtedly been a very eventful day in India, the BJP leaders are getting ready for the task of forming and running a government now. In his speech at a rally to celebrate the party's stunning victory, Mr Modi talked about taking everyone along and development for all. But his very first task will be to carry along the different factions of his own party. Senior BJP leaders like LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj have challenged his authority in the run-up to the election, and it will be interesting to see how he manages them.


    And that brings us to the end of our live coverage of the Indian elections, which saw Narendra Modi's BJP party win a phenomenal majority. Votes counted so far suggest the BJP is on course for the most resounding victory by any party for 30 years, trouncing the outgoing Congress Party. Stay with our story for the latest developments.


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