New Delhi: The BJP rode a Modi super-wave to a massive victory in Uttar Pradesh today, winning 312 of the state's 403 seats; its allies have won 13 seats for a grand total of 325. It's a triumph that will strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim to a second term in 2019. As jubilant party workers celebrated an early Holi, BJP chief Amit Shah credited the win to PM Modi's leadership, describing him as "the most popular leader since Independence." The BJP has also swept neighbouring Uttarakhand. The Congress has won Punjab, and has a few more seats than the BJP in Goa and Manipur, with no party getting a majority. Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party is the day's big loser.
Here's your 10 point cheatsheet to assembly election results 2017:
Amit Shah said the BJP will hold a reception for PM Modi at the party's Delhi office on Sunday evening after which its top decision makers, the parliamentary board, will meet to decide on chief ministers. "We will form government in four states - UP, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur," Mr Shah said.
The mega UP election, held in seven rounds, is seen as a bellwether for the 2019 national election. The win is also seen as an endorsement of the PM's stewardship of the economy after his decision last November to scrap high value notes, aimed at eliminating corruption and black money.
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party was relaxed as he accepted defeat and said he hoped "the next government does better." He said his partnership with the Congress would continue.
As Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi congratulated PM Modi, he also said, "Our fight continues and will not end till we win the hearts & minds of people."
The Congress's big win in Punjab - it has won 77 of 117 seats - is the best news it has had in months, having done disastrously in other recent elections.
But questions are again being raised about Rahul Gandhi's leadership after the Congress' poor showing in UP, where he focused his attention with an intense campaign. In his parliamentary constituency Amethi, the BJP has won four out of 5 assembly seats.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plan to win two more states has fallen flat, with his AAP winning zero seats in Goa and came a poor second in Punjab, winning 22 seats, only four more than the Akali Dal-BJP alliance at 18.