(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Early results in India’s national election point to a large victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Over the past six weeks, hundreds of millions of Indians cast their ballots using electronic voting machines in polling booths across the length and breadth of the country.
The vote has far-reaching consequences for India’s democracy and economy. Preliminary results from the Election Commission show the BJP leading in a stunning 294 seats, well above the 272-seat majority mark in parliament. The opposition Congress party is leading in 50 seats.
Such leads can change and less than 15 percent of the total votes had been counted as of 10:30a.m. local time.
Modi and the BJP are known for their center-right politics and embrace of Hindu nationalism — the belief that India, home to a diversity of faiths, is fundamentally a Hindu nation rather than a secular republic.