Here, we have tracked the votes being counted in the mostly Hindi-speaking states where the Bharatiya Janata Party scored huge victories in the 2014 General Elections – Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP is leading comfortably in eight key states in northern and central India that helped the party get unprecedented success in 2014.
These states are part of the traditional heartland of the BJP that gives India as many as 273 of its 543 Lok Sabha MPs. In the previous Lok Sabha elections, 216 of the victorious candidates in these eight states belonged to the BJP. Alone accounting for 49 crore voters, these states are again proving to be key to the party’s chances of re-election.
The Congress had just one factor to find cheer in: months before the General Elections, the BJP lost power in three of these states. However, as the results come in, the Congress seems to have been unable to translate that success to national polls: the BJP is ahead in 62 out of 65 seats in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The heartland is the BJP’s main voter base, and how well the party performs there will determine the ease with which it will retain power in 2019. As the votes are counted on Thursday, track the live updates from these states on this blog.
Here is the state-wise seat share for the BJP in these states in 2014:
Bihar: 22/40 seats, Chhattisgarh: 10/11 seats, Gujarat: 26/26 seats, Madhya Pradesh: 27/29 seats, Maharashtra: 23/48 seats, Jharkhand: 12/14 seats, Rajasthan: 25/25 seats, Uttar Pradesh: 71/80 seats.
6.35 pm: This blog now comes to an end. We’ll move to breaking down the results and analysing their impact more from here on, but there are other ways to follow the numbers as they continue to come in. You can read our election news coverage here, and Scroll.in’s in-depth reportage here. You can follow live updates here.
6.30 pm: Based on the leads so far, here is the latest seat share of the BJP and its allies in the eight heartland states:
Bihar (40 seats): NDA leading in 37, won one seat
Chhattisgarh (11 seats): BJP leading in nine seats
Jharkhand (14 seats): NDA leading in 12 seats
Madhya Pradesh (29 seats): BJP leading in 26 seats, won in two seats
Maharashtra (48 seats): NDA leading in 39 seats, won two seats
Uttar Pradesh (80 seats): NDA leading in 60 seats, won in three seats
The BJP was leading in all seats in Rajasthan (25 seats) and Gujarat (26 seats).
6.15 pm: According to the data on the Election Commission website, this is how the key BJP candidates fared in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh so far:
Narendra Modi (Varanasi): Leading by 4,75,754 votes
Smriti Irani (Amethi): Leading by 24,084 votes
Maneka Gandhi (Sultanpur): Leading by 12,397 votes
Rajnath Singh (Lucknow): Leading by 3,45,023
Pragya Singh Thakur (Bhopal): Leading by 3,23,512 votes
Giriraj Singh (Begusarai): Leading by 4,19,660 votes
Ravi Shankar Prasad (Patna Sahib): Leading by 2,56,999 votes
Amit Shah (Gandhinagar): Leading by 5,55,843 votes
5.27 pm: Narendra Modi says the faith placed in the NDA by the voters is humbling and “gives us strength to work even harder to fulfil people’s aspirations”. “I salute every BJP Karyakarta for their determination, perseverance & hardwork. They went home to home, elaborating on our development agenda,” he tweets.
5.20 pm: Pakistan Prime Minister congratulated Narendra Modi on NDA’s victory in the elections. “Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” he tweets.
5.15 pm: Around 5 pm, the BJP and its allies were leading in 37 of the 40 seats in Bihar and won one constituency. Similarly, the BJP and its allies are leading in 60 of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, and won one. In Rajasthan, the NDA was ahead in all 25 seats.
The BJP was leading in all 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and all 26 seats of Gujarat, all 11 seats in Chhattisgarh. The BJP and its ally were ahead in 12 of 14 seats in Jharkhand. In Maharashtra, the NDA was ahead in 40 of 48 seats and had won one seat.
5.14 pm: In Madhya Pradesh’s Guna seat, Congress candidate Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had won the seat in 2014, is trailing by 1,26,082 votes against the BJP candidate.
5.10 pm: In the first result declared in Uttar Pradesh, Akshaibar Lal of the BJP won from Bahraich seat. Lal won against Samajwadi Party candidate Shabbir Balmiki by a margin of 1,28,752 votes. Outgoing going MP Savitribai Phule, who had switched from the BJP to the Congress in March, stood third.
4.33 pm: Congress’ Mumbai North candidate Urmila Matondkar claims there was a mismatch in signatures in EVM form. “On the form of EVM 17C from Magathane, the signatures and the machine numbers are different,” she tweets. “A complaint has been filed with the Election Commission.”
4.20 pm: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge says he accepts the result in Gulbarga, where he contested from. “The verdict that people gave us, we are accepting it,” ANI quotes Kharge as saying. “We believe in democracy. We will discuss how to correct our mistakes and how to strengthen the party.”
Kharge has never lost an election since 1972, when he began his political career. He is trailing behind BJP candidate Umesh Jadhav by a margin of 95,168 votes.
4.15 pm: In Chhattisgarh, the BJP’s voteshare was at 50.4%, while in Bihar, the party was at 23.9% voteshare.
4.02 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis says the “Modi wave” of 2014 Lok Sabha elections has turned into a tsunami this time. At 4 pm, the BJP was leading in 23 seats in Maharashtra, while its ally Shiv Sena was leading in 18 seats. The state has 48 Parliamentary constituencies.
“Going by the current trends, I think our seats in Maharashtra are likely to go up,” PTI quotes Fadnavis as saying. “It has also increased our responsibilities.”
4 pm: Veteran BJP leader LK Advanis congratulates Narendra Modi for “steering BJP towards this unprecedented victory in elections”. “Amitbhai Shah as BJP President and all dedicated workers of the party have put in enormous effort in making sure that BJP’s message reaches every voter,” Advani says, according to ANI. “It’s such a wonderful feeling that in a country as large and diverse as India, electoral process has been so successfully completed and for that, my compliments to the electorate and all the agencies involved. May our great nation be blessed with a bright future ahead.”
3.36 pm: The BJP is leading in 28 seats out of 29 in Madhya Pradesh. In Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur was leading by over 2.55 lakh votes against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
3.30 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath says the BJP’s victory is a result of “visionary leadership” of Narendra Modi, “excellent organisational capabilities” of Amit Shah and the hard work of millions of party workers.
3.27 pm: Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha says he accepts people’s verdict with all his grace and said it was time for the mahagathbandhan to introspect. Kushwaha, contesting from Ujiarpur and Karakat Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, was trailing in both of them.
“Its time for introspection for Mahagathbandhan/UPA instead of making accusations against anyone,” he tweets. “This is neither the victory of any candidate nor of those who are in power in state government. This is rather the result of opposition leaders failure to read the mood of the people. There is a need to adopt a strong and serious strategy to carry further the battle in future.”
3.20 pm: From Mainpuri, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav is leading by 19,588 votes. His son Akhilesh Yadav is also leading against BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav from Azamgarh.
3.15 pm: BJP Mathura candidate Hema Malini says the BJP has silenced the Opposition parties with its “clean sweep”. “Modiji, after having suffered so many insults, many personal, stands totally vindicated as a true nationalist in whom the masses have reposed complete faith & view as a leader who can make India excel in all spheres,” the actor-turned-politician tweets.
Hema Malini is leading by a margin of 2,05,648 votes against Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Kunwar Narendra Singh.
3.05 pm: Based on the leads so far, here is the latest seat share of the BJP and its allies in the eight heartland states:
Bihar: 37/40 seats, Chhattisgarh: 10/11 seats, Haryana: 10/10 seats, Jharkhand: 10/14 seats, Madhya Pradesh: 28/29 seats, Rajasthan: 24/25 seats, Uttar Pradesh: 60/80 seats
2.50 pm: BJP President Amit Shah says the party’s victory is the country’s win. He congratulates Modi and BJP workers. He says the Lok Sabha poll results are a consequence of India’s mandate against the Opposition’s “propaganda, lies, personal insinuations and baseless politics”. “Today’s mandate also shows that the people of India have chosen evolution and nationalism by completely uprooting casteism, familyism and appeasing from the country,” Shah tweets.
2.48 pm: Narendra Modi tweets: “Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India.”
2.30 pm: Amit Shah is winning from the Gandhinagar seat in Gujarat by a massive margin of 4,83,269 votes.
2.25 pm: Smriti Irani is leading in Congress stronghold Amethi against Rahul Gandhi by 9,766 votes.
2.20 pm: The BJP is comfortably leading in nine of the 10 seats in Haryana. The party faced a close challenge from Congress only in Rohtak seat. Arvind Kumar Sharma of the BJP was leading against the Congress’ Deepender Singh Hooda by 14,791 votes.
2.05 pm: The Election Commission’s website has been down for over an hour.
1.55 pm: Arvind Sawant of BJP’s ally Shiv Sena is leading in Mumbai South seat. Congress leader Milind Deora was trailing with 60,086 seats.
Meanwhile, in the Mumbai North seat, Congress candidate Urmila Matondkar was trailing BJP’s Gopal Shetty with 39,977 votes.
1.50 pm: BJP candidate Rajnath Singh is leading with over three lakh votes from Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.
1.45 pm: In Gautam Buddh Nagar seat in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP’s Mahesh Sharma is leading against Bahujan Samaj Party’s Satveer Nagar and Congress candidate Arvind Kumar Singh.
1.30 pm: BJP’s Bhopal candidate, who is leading against Congress’ Digvijaya Singh, says the people of the country voted for Narendra Modi for the work he has done, News18 reports.
1.15 pm: Based on the leads so far, here is the latest seat share of the BJP and its allies in the eight heartland states:
Bihar: 37/40 seats, Chhattisgarh: 9/11 seats, Gujarat: 26/26 seats, Madhya Pradesh: 28/29 seats, Maharashtra: 42/48 seats, Jharkhand: 10/14 seats, Rajasthan: 24/25 seats, Uttar Pradesh: 59/80 seats
1.08 pm: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah congratulates the BJP and the NDA for their performance. “So the exit polls were correct...Credit where credit is due PM Modi Sahib & Mr Amit Shah put together a winning alliance & a very professional campaign. Bring on the next five years,” Abdullah tweets.
1 pm: Gujarat Congress leader Hardik Patel says it is farmers, education, employment, and women of the country who have lost the elections.
12.55 pm: Rajnath Singh says the “historic victory” for the NDA’s stuepndous victory in the Lok Sabha elections is the outcome of Modi’s visionary leadership and Amit Shahj dynamism and the hard work of BJP workers. “I thank the people of India for once again giving a decisive mandate to BJP-led NDA and reposing faith in Shri Narendra Modi’s astute leadership and his vision of New India. Shri Modi is now all set to build a New India,” he tweets.
12.50 pm: BJP leader Jayant Sinha, seeking a re-election from Hazaribagh seat in Jharkhand, is leading by 1,08,089 votes.
12.43 pm: Rajasthan BJP workers began celebrations outside the party’s Jaipur office.
12.41 pm: “The whole nation wants to re-elect Prime Minister Narendra Modi because the nation is secure in his hands,” BJP’s Patna Sahib candidate Ravi Shankar Prasad tells News18.
12.37 pm: BJP’s Ravi Kishan leading by 94,088 votes in Gorakhpur.
12.35 pm: The BJP’s vote share in Gujarat is nearly 62%.
12.34 pm: In Bihar, the BJP’s vote share is over 26%.
12.31 pm: In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP’s vote share is over 49%.
12.25 pm: In Sultanpur, Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Chandra Bhadra Singh is trailing by only 756 votes. He is up against the BJP’s Maneka Gandhi.
12.18 pm: Narendra Modi is leading by 1,83,960 votes against Shalini Yadav of Samajwadi Party in Varanasi.
12.17 pm: BJP’s Patna Sahib candidate Ravi Shankar Prasad is leading by 76,404 votes against Congress’ Shatrughan Sinha.
12.15 pm: BJP’s Giriraj Singh is leading by over 1.6 lakh votes against Communist Party of India candidate Kanhaiya Kumar.
12.10 pm: Based on the leads so far, here is the latest seat share of the BJP and its allies in the eight heartland states:
Bihar: 38/40 seats, Chhattisgarh: 9/11 seats, Gujarat: 26/26 seats, Madhya Pradesh: 28/29 seats, Maharashtra: 43/48 seats, Jharkhand: 12/14 seats, Rajasthan: 24/25 seats, Uttar Pradesh: 57/80 seats.
12 pm: The BJP Parliamentary board meeting will be held later in the day, ANI reports. Narendra Modi will meet BJP workers at the party office at 5.30 pm.
11.35 am: Giriraj Singh of the BJP is now leading against Kanhaiya Kumar by 1.11 lakh votes.
11.34 am: In Amethi, BJP’s Smriti Irani is leading against Rahul Gandhi by 6,727 votes.
11.09 am: Based on the leads so far, here is the latest seat share of the BJP and its allies in the eight heartland states:
Bihar: 38/40 seats, Chhattisgarh: 9/11 seats, Gujarat: 26/26 seats, Madhya Pradesh: 28/29 seats, Maharashtra: 44/48 seats, Jharkhand: 10/14 seats, Rajasthan: 24/25 seats, Uttar Pradesh: 55/80 seats.
11 am: The BJP and Shiv Sena are ahead in all six seats of Mumbai.
10.58 am: Union minister Sushma Swaraj congratulates Narendra Modi for helping the BJP get “such a massive win”.
10.54 am: The BJP’s Madhya Pradesh unit tweets pictures of party leaders following result trends.
10.53 am: BJP President Amit Shah leads in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar constituency by 1,64,862 votes.
10.44 am: BJP leader Giriraj Singh has extended his lead against CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar in Begusarai to 66,000 votes.
10.40 am: The NDA – comprising the BJP, Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party – has extended its lead in Bihar to 37 out of 38 seats for which trends are available. The RJD is ahead in one seat.
10.34 am: Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav leads against Prem Singh Shakya of the BJP in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, by 5,426 votes.
10.32 am: Nakul Nath, the son of long-time Chhindwara MP Kamal Nath, is leading against the BJP candidate by 5,872 votes in the constituency, ECI trends show.
10.26 am: KP Yadav of the BJP is ahead of Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna constituency, according to official ECI trends.
10.24 am: Official trends are now available in 79 of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP is ahead in 58 seats, and its ally Apna Dal (Soneywal) on one seat. The BSP-SP alliance is ahead in 18 seats.
10.22 am: In Madhya Pradesh, Congress is leading in nine seats according to trends on NDTV. The official trends, however, show Congress ahead only in one seat.
10.21 am: BJP’s Nitin Gadkari leads in Nagpur by 3,066 votes, according to the Election Commission.
10 am: The BJP is leading the Congress 8-3 in the 11 seats of Chhattisgarh. The party is leading in all 26 seats of Gujarat. In Jharkhand, the BJP is leading in nine of 12 seats for which trends are available. In Maharashtra, the NDA is ahead in 40 out of 47 seats for which leads are known.
9.50 am: The BJP and its allies are leading in 32 of the 34 seats in Bihar for which official trends are available. In Uttar Pradesh, the party and its allies are ahead in 54 of 74 seats for which trends were known, while in Rajasthan, the party is ahead in 24 of 25 seats. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP leads in 27 of 29 seats.
9.46 am: The NDA leads in 52 of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, according to official trends. The Congress is ahead in one seat, and the BSP-SP in 19 seats.
9.42 am: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi is leading against the BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh in Rae Bareli by 5,900 votes, according to official ECI results.
9.35 am: Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav trails in Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency of Uttar Pradesh, NDTV reports.
9.24 am: In Uttar Pradesh, the NDA is ahead in 49 seats, the mahagathbandhan in 18, and Congress in three seats, according to NDTV.
9.20 am: Narendra Modi leads in Varanasi, according to official trends on the Election Commission website.
9.19 am: Smriti Irani is leading against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, NDTV reports.
9.18 am: Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi of the BJP are leading in their constituencies, says NDTV.
9.16 am: BJP’s Giriraj Singh leads against Kanhaiya Kumar in Begusarai in Bihar, NDTV reports.
9.09 am: Nitin Gadkari of the BJP is leading in Nagpur, according to early trends on NDTV. The RJD’s Misa Bharti is trailing in Pataliputra, Bihar.
9.04 am: The NDA is leading in 34 seats, the mahagathbandhan in nine seats, the Congress in one seat in Uttar Pradesh, NDTV reports.
8.55 am: Pragya Singh Thakur of the BJP is leading in Bhopal against Congress’ Digvijaya Singh, NDTV reports.
8.53 am: In Chhattisgarh, the NDA is ahead six seats and the UPA in five, NDTV reports. The state has 11 seats.
8.47 am: Trends are available from 40 of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, with the counting of postal ballots still under way. The NDA is leading in 31 seats, the BSP-SP-RLD in five, and Congress in four seats.
8.46 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi is trailing in Amethi against BJP’s Smriti Irani, according to NDTV.
8.40 am: The BJP is ahead in 13 seats in Madhya Pradesh, and the Congress in two, according to early trends on NDTV. The state has 29 seats.
8.39 am: In Rajasthan, the NDA leads in 20 seats and the Congress in two, NDTV reports. The state has 25 constituencies.
8.37 am: In Bihar, the NDA is ahead in seven seats, while the RJD-Congress alliance is ahead in one seat, according to NDTV. The state has 40 seats.
8.34 am: Early trends from Gujarat show the NDA ahead in 21 seats, and UPA in three, according to NDTV. The state has 26 seats.
8.32 am: Early trends available from Uttar Pradesh show the NDA ahead in 25 seats, Congress in two, and the mahagathbandhan in three seats, according to NDTV.
8.20 am: In Chhattisgarh, counting is going on at 27 centres, one each at every district headquarters, PTI reports.
The postal ballots are being counted first.
8.05 am: The counting of votes has started, ANI reports.
7.57 am: In a video edition of The Election Fix, we spoke to Scroll.in’s Supriya Sharma and Akash Bisht on the mood in the heartland states this election. Watch it here: Will the BJP repeat its remarkable performance in North Indian states?
For more on this topic read Supriya’s five-part series on the Modi voter, for which she travelled to BJP’s strongholds to look for answers.
7.35 am: In Uttar Pradesh, most exit polls predicted more seats for the NDA than for the mahagathbandhan of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal.
Of the 80 constituencies in the state, 51 are likely to go to the NDA and 26 to the mahagathbandhan, according to Jan Ki Baat. Some others predicted 58-20, 61-18 and 65-13 in favour of the BJP. CVoter pegged 38 seats for the BJP-led alliance and 40 for the mahagathbandhan. The Congress is seen getting just two or three seats.
Nielsen’s exit poll has forecast 22 seats for the NDA and 56 for the grand alliance. Another exit poll, by ABP-CSDS, gave the NDA 22 seats and the mahagathbandhan 56.
7.15 am: Counting of votes will begin at 8 am. The eight states we are covering on this live blog are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
These states send 273 members to the Lok Sabha, and in 2014, as many as 216 of these were from the BJP. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, the BJP did not lose a single seat.