NEW DELHI: The BJP has repeated the near-improbable feat of repeating its landslide victory in north and west India with its vote share jumping over 50 per cent in many states, as the party appeared set to surpass its 2014 total of 282 Lok Sabha seats in this general election.
The saffron tsunami- powered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charisma, his planks of nationalism and development, and the BJP's organisational heft- rolled on in the Hindi heartland once more and even the apparently formidable SP-BSP combine was blown away.
In reality, the BJP has bettered its show this time as its vote share in several states, including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, was well over 50 per cent, nothing short of a statistical wonder in Indian electoral history.
BJP president Amit Shah's claim of achieving over 50 per cent vote share to ensure the defeat of the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh came true as the saffron party had pocketed more than 49 per cent votes, as per the latest Election Commission figures.
The BJP's tally of 71 in UP could only be dealt a minor dent by the opposition's alliance as the party had won or was leading in 60 seats.
It also appeared set to repeat its stupendous show of 2014 in Rajasthan and Gujarat by leading in all 25 and 26 seats respectively and better its tally in Madhya Pradesh by winning or leading in 28 of its 29 seats.
The saffron party is set to almost retain its strength in Chhattisgarh by being ahead of its rivals in nine of its 11 seats.
The BJP, which sacrificed its winning seats in Bihar to forge an alliance with Nitish Kumar's JD(U), is winning or leading in 16 of the 17 seats it fought. It had won 22 of the 31 seats it contested in Bihar in 2014.
In Maharashtra, it was set to win 23 of the 25 seats it contested. Its ally Shiv Sena contested on the remainder 23 seats and was sweeping as well.
In Haryana, the BJP was set to better its tally by establishing huge heads over its rivals in nine of its 10 seats. It had won seven in 2014.
Issues about the unpopularity of some BJP-ruled state governments or local candidates turned out to be meaningless as people plumped for Modi's leadership.
In Jharkhand, the BJP won or was leading 11 of 13 seats it fought, garnering over 49 per cent votes.
The BJP had won or was leading in more than 300 seats across the country.