The 2019 Lok Sabha elections threw up several nail-biting contests and shock losses, including that of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi from the party’s bastion of Amethi. More than 8,000 candidates contested 542 seats.
In this blog, we tracked several key fights such as and candidates such as those between Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha and BJP stalwart Ravi Shankar Prasad in Patna Sahib, first-time candidate Kanhaiya Kumar and BJP veteran Giriraj Singh in Begusarai. We also focussed on candidates such as BJP chief Amit Shah in Gandhinagar, Kiren Rijiju in Arunachal and DMK leader Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi.
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.
6.08 pm: Here are the day’s top updates
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday conceded defeat from his party stronghold Amethi in Uttar Pradesh to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Smriti Irani.
- Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday conceded defeat in the Lok Sabha elections after she trailed behind National Conference’s Hasnain Masoodi and Congress’ Ghulam Ahmad Mir in the Anantnag seat.
- Communist Party of India candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, is trailing behind Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh in Begusarai constituency in Bihar.
- Bharatiya Janata Party leader and terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur looks set to win the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat. This is Thakur’s first Lok Sabha election.
5.56 pm: Rahul Gandhi says his party’s fight is one of ideology.
5.50 pm: Rahul Gandhi concedes defeat in Amethi and asks BJP’s Smriti Irani to “look after Amethi with love”. The ECI pegs Irani’s winning margin by 24,084 votes.
5.48 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi congratulates Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s lead in the Lok Sabha polls. “Today is the not the day to discuss what I think went wrong because the people of India have clearly decided that Narendra Modi is going to be their Prime Minister and as an Indian I respect that,” Gandhi says.
5.41 pm: Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan accepts defeat in the Thoothukudi Lok Sabha election. She contested against DMK’s Kanimozhi.
Soundararajan tells reporters that she accepts the verdict but adds that the loss will not stop her from continuing to work for people in the constituency. She adds that it is unfortunate that people of Thoothukudi lost an opportunity to send a BJP representative to the Cabinet at the Centre, someone who could “bring in more development projects.
4.56 pm: BJP’s Kendrapara candidate Baijayant Panda expresses hope despite trailing by 50,277 votes in the poll. “While 3+ lakh votes have been counted in Kendrapara, nearly nine lakh more votes remain to be counted,” Panda tweets. “Let us see how it turns out.”
4.53 pm: Shashi Tharoor says Kerala is an exemplar of what the politics of the Congress could be nationally, ANI reports. “I just hope we will be able to build from the very disappointing result nationally,” Tharoor says.
4.36 pm: Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor says he has given the BJP a thumping defeat in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, News18 reports. “As recently as this morning, there were some people in the media who rationally thought that this was the seat that BJP is going to win,” Tharoor says. “Not only have they not won but I’ve given them a thumping defeat.”
4.30 pm: BJP’s Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir takes jibe at rivals Aam Aadmi Party candidate Atishi and Congress’ Arvinder Singh Lovely’s impending loss in the East Delhi election. ECI pegs his lead margin at 3,11,615.
“Neither [is it] a ‘Lovely’ cover drive nor is it an ‘Atishi batting’,” Gambhir tweets. “It is just the BJP’s ‘Gambhir’ (serious) ideology which the people have supported. Thanks a lot to all the BJP team-mates for getting this mandate. We will not fail the people’s choice.”
4.12 pm: BJP’s incumbent Asansol MP Babul Supriyo pokes fun on Twitter at Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha’s claim on Thursday morning that the Opposition party will win the Lok Sabha elections.
4.08 pm: BJP’s Bangalore South candidate Tejasvi Surya celebrates his clear lead of 3,29,360 with his supporters.
4.02 pm: Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor pays tribute to his Lok Sabha poll rivals Kummanam Rajasekharan from BJP and C Divakaran from the Communist Party of India for fighting strong campaigns. “I look forward to their cooperation and that of their parties in the collective task of ensuring development and progress for Thiruvananthapuram and the rest of India,” Tharoor tweets.
The Congress candidate thanks his party workers, volunteers and people of Thiruvananthapuram for “having reposed faith in me and in the values of inclusive India”.
The ECI pegs his lead margin at 72,247.
3.38 pm: BJP President Amit Shah joins victory celebrations at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi.
3.29 pm: Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh is leading in the contest for Mandya by 54,910 votes.
3.18 pm: BJP’s Sultanpur candidate Maneka Gandhi overtakes BSP candidate Chandra Bhadra Singh with 14,594 lead margin, ECI says.
3.07 pm: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor describes his lead in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha poll as bittersweet. “As my lead nears 50,000 with 72% counted, I feel like a batsman who has scored a century while his team has lost!” Tharoor tweets. “It is a bittersweet emotion I will take some time to reflect on.”
2.52 pm: Amit Shah 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. “I bow to India.”
2.51 pm: Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is leading in Mainpuri by 10,425, says ECI.
2.46 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate Kanimozhi is ahead of her BJP counterpart Tamilisai Soundarajan by 1,74,695 votes, according to ECI.
2.07 pm: The Election Commission’s website has been down for over an hour.
2.20 pm: TMC’s Asansol candidate Moonmoon Sen says she is sad about the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections. ECI pegs BJP candidate Babul Supriyo’s lead margin at 73,475.
2.04 pm: Peoples Democratic Party chief and Anantnag candidate Mehbooba Mufti accepts defeat in Lok Sabha polls. “We have been fortunate to get the love and affection of my people,” Mufti tweets. “They have every right to express their anger for my failings. Accept their verdict with humility. Congratulations to winning candidates from the National Conference. I am grateful to my party workers and colleagues.”
1.53 pm: BJP’s Begusarai candidate Giriraj Singh says his victory in the Lok Sabha polls was Hindu deity Mahadev’s victory in heaven and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s win on earth, News18 reports. “There was only one candidate across the nation, and that was Modiji,” Singh says. “In the Opposition too there was Modi again. We [NDA] were praising Modi and the Opposition was insulting him. The public dismissed the criticism against Modi and voted for the BJP.”
“This is not my victory,” Singh says. “This is the victory of the people of Begusarai.”
1.36 pm: Peoples Democratic Party chief and Anantnag candidate Mehbooba Mufti congratulates Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a “historic mandate”. “Today surely belongs to BJP and it’s allies,” Mufti tweets. “Time for Congress to get an Amit Shah.”
1.29 pm: BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur attributes major lead in Lok Sabha poll to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, News18 reports. “Whoever god selects to work for the nation, works,” Thakur says. “The biggest thing is that the public has instilled its faith in Modiji who has worked for the nation for five years. We are like an Army of workers.”
Thakur avoids question about Modi’s condemnation of her remark calling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse a patriot.
1.15 pm: BJP candidate Giriraj Singh Shekawat has a 1,89,757 lead over Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav in Jodhpur, according to the ECI.
1.09 pm: Congress candidate Karti Chidambaram is ahead in the race for the Sivaganga seat by 80,743 votes, ECI says.
1.05 pm: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference candidate Hasnain Masoodi is leading in Anantnag, according to ECI.
12.54 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is leading the Azamgarh poll by 68,846 votes ahead of BJP candidate and Bhojpuri film star Dinesh Lal Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, according to the ECI.
Read more here:
12.34 pm: It is still a tight contest in Amethi, with BJP minister Smriti Irani ahead of Congress President Rahul Gandhi by 4,649 votes, ECI says.
12.31 pm: BJP’s Begusarai candidate Giriraj Singh is ahead of Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Kanhaiya Kumar by a margin of 1,71,703, the ECI says.
12.18 pm: Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant is leading by 47,259 ahead of Congress candidate Milind Deora in Mumbai South, the ECI says.
12.08 pm: BJP President Amit Shah is currently leading the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha poll by a margin of 3,02,600 votes, according to the ECI.
11.57 am: BJP candidate Tejasvi Surya says the people’s love for his party has increased because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s work and popularity, News18 reports. “Bangalore South has always been a BJP bastion,” Surya says. “This time around it seems as if people’s love has only increased looking at the popularity of the prime minister and the work he has done in the last five years. I am sure the vote margins will increase from now on.”
11.51 am: BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur says she will definitely win the Lok Sabha poll in Madhya Pradesh, ANI reports. “My victory is the victory of righteousness and the destruction of sinfulness. I am grateful to the people of Bhopal,” Thakur says.
The ECI says she is currently leading by 67,648 votes.
11.48 am: National People’s Party candidate Agatha Sangma is leading the race against Congress candidate Mukul Sangma in Tura, the ECI says.
11.42 am: BJP’s Bangalore South candidate Tejasvi Surya is leading in contest against Congress veteran BK Hariprasad, according to the ECI.
11.33 am: BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur is currently leading by 36,132 votes ahead of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, the ECI says.
11.27 am: BJP candidate Baijayant Panda says he is on his way to thank his counting agents. “On the road again... With my candidate ID card, to visit the two counting centres for Kendrapada Lok Sabha seat,” Panda tweets. “My counting agents will be very busy, of course, but it is important to let them know that I value their contribution, the 12+ hours of nonstop vigil.”
11.23 am: In Kendrapara, Biju Janata Dal’s celebrity candidate Anubhav Mohanty is leading with 4,510 votes against BJP candidate Baijayant Panda, who currently has 3,198, according to the ECI.
11.01 am: Congress candidate and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit is trailing in North East Delhi, according to the ECI. BJP candidate is leading with 1,16,067 votes so far.
10.49 am: BJP’s Arunachal West candidate Kiren Rijiju claims lead in poll. “After first round counting of votes I have taken a lead of more than 30,000 from Arunachal (West) Lok Sabha seat in Arunachal Pradesh,” Rijiju tweets.
The ECI has pegged his current lead margin at 24,939 votes against Congress candidate and former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki.
10.39 am: BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur is leading the poll by 27,597 votes against Congress rival Digvijaya Singh, according to the ECI.
10.34 am: BJP candidate Tejasvi Surya thanks former Union Minister Ananth Kumar’s widow Tejaswini on Twitter. The party had denied her a ticket to represent her husband’s constituency and made her BJP vice president in Karnataka instead.
“Thank you ma’am for all your blessings,” Surya tweets. “Ananthkumar Ji and you played an important pivotal role in shaping me. I thank you again for the love you have given me. I pray God to give me the strength to continue the good work of our inspiring leader Sri Ananthkumar.”
10.25 am: Congress MP and Thiruvananthapuram candidate Shashi Tharoor says he welcomes news about his lead in the poll. “Not getting excited about just 4% of the votes counted, but it is welcome news that I took the lead from the start and am holding on to it!” Tharoor tweets.
10.22 am: Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir is leading with 30,923 votes in East Delhi, followed by Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely with 14,696 and Aam Aadmi Party candidate Aatishi trailing with 9,134, the ECI says.
10.17 am: BJP candidate Kiren Rijiju is leading in Arunachal West with 19,099 votes against Congress leader Nabam Tuki who currently has 2,639, according to the ECI.
Read more here:
10.13 am: In Anantnag, Congress candidate Ghulam Ahmad Mir is leading in contest with Peoples Democratic Party chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, according to the ECI.
10.06 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi is currently leading in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh with 4,723 votes against BJP minister and candidate Smriti Irani’s 2,944 votes, according to the ECI.
10 am: Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan is leading with 33,858 votes in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, ECI says. BJP leader Jaya Prada currently has 29,751 votes.
Read more here:
9.57 am: Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav is leading in Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh with 21,164 votes, says ECI. BJP candidate Prem Singh Shakya polls 14,169 votes so far.
9.54 am: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is leading in his constituency of Thiruvanathapuram, according to the ECI.
9.51 am: Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy is leading in Mandya constituency in Karnataka with 36,477, according to the Election Commission of India. Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh is trailing with 34,575 votes. The JD(S) candidate is Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son.
9.47 am: BJP candidate Ravi Shankar Prasad is leading in Patna Sahib, Bihar, with 11,649 voters against former party colleague and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha, who has 6408 votes, ECI says.
9.43 am: Congress candidate Karti Chidambaram is leading with 3,030 votes in Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu against BJP candidate H Raja, says ECI.
9.40 am: BJP’s Asansol MP Babul Supriyo is leading in his constituency against TMC candidate Moon Moon Sen, according to the ECI.
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9.35 am: BJP candidate Varun Gandhi leads with 8,886 votes against Samajwadi Party candidate Hemraj Verma in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, ECI says.
9.30 am: Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Chandra Bhadra Singh is leading with 17,982 votes against BJP minister and candidate Maneka Gandhi in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, according to the Election Commission of India.
9.28 am: BJP minister and candidate Giriraj Singh is leading in the contest against Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, according to the Election Commission.
9.23 am: In Jodhpur, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is leading with 27,505 votes against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot, the ECI says.
9.20 am: First-time BJP candidate Tejasvi Surya is leading in the Lok Sabha constituency of Bangalore South against Congress veteran BK Hariprasad, according to the ECI.
9.11 am: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is leading in Wayanad constituency in Kerala, according to the ECI.
9.08 am: Early trends indicate Union Minister and BJP candidate Nitin Gadkari is leading in Nagpur, Maharashra, NDTV reports.
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8.59 am: Initial trends indicate that BJP candidate Pragya Thakur is leading in Bhopal by almost 3,000 votes, NDTV reports.
8.54 am: BJP Thiruvanathapuram candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan says he is confident he will win the election against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, ANI reports. “For the development of the state and welfare of its people, I think Kerala should move along with NDA government in Delhi,” Rajasekharan says. “Now that Kerala is coming up in the mainstream, I am very confident that I will win in this election.”
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8.51 am: Early trends indicate Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate Kanimozhi is leading in the Thoothukkudi Lok Sabha contest, NDTV reports.
8.40 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi trailing in Amethi, NDTV reports.
8.30 am: Amit Shah is leading from Gandhinagar and Narendra Modi in Varanasi, reports NDTV.
8.20 am: BJP’s Thiruvananthapuram candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan prays at the Ayyaguru Ashram ahead of the Lok Sabha poll declaration later today, ANI reports.
8.16 am: BJP’s Bengaluru South candidate Tejasvi Surya exudes confidence about winning seat after offering prayers in the city, ANI reports. “I am sure we will win,” Surya says. “I am confident I will be able to contribute to legislation and policy making in this country.”
8.15 am: Janata Dal (Secular) Mandya candidate and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy offers prayers at Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore, ANI reports.
8.05 am: The counting of votes has started, ANI reports.