India election results: Modi declares victory

6:50 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

What you need to know about India's elections

Amit Shah, president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), waves at workers on May 23, 2019 in New Delhi, India.
Amit Shah, president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), waves at workers on May 23, 2019 in New Delhi, India. Atul Loke/Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was poised for a landslide victory in the country's general elections, early results showed on Thursday, defying expectations of even his own party to win a second term in office.

In case you missed it, here's more on the elections:

  • What Modi said: He dedicated his victory to the people of India and said his win was a "guarantee of a bright future for the common people of this country."
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party: The BJP won 274 constituencies, taking it over the threshold of 272 required for an absolute majority.
  • Rahul Gandhi conceded: The Congress, led by the scion of India's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, struggled to make headway with voters. In his concession speech, Gandhi congratulated Modi on his win.
5:24 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

BJP officially claims victory in India elections

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to party workers at Bharatiya Janata Party's headquarters in New Delhi, India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to party workers at Bharatiya Janata Party's headquarters in New Delhi, India. Atul Loke/Getty Images

The Election Commission of India has announced that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won 274 constituencies, taking it over the threshold of 272 required for an absolute majority.

In order to win, BJP needed to secure 272 seats out of 543 in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, to form a government.

3:08 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Modi's BJP edges closer to victory

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate with a cutout of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at their party office in Gauhati, India, Thursday.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate with a cutout of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at their party office in Gauhati, India, Thursday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is edging closer to victory.

BJP is leading in 51 seats and has outright won 251, bringing the total to 302, according to the Election Commission of India.

In order to win, a party or a coalition needs to secure 272 seats out of 543 in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, to form a government. If the projections are accurate, Modi's BJP looks set to win outright, without support from his coalition.

2:41 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Modi thanks Pakistani counterpart and emphasizes wish for peace in region

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for cheering his victory Thursday, emphasizing his wish for peace in the region.

"I warmly express my gratitude for your good wishes. I have always given primacy to peace and development in our region," Modi tweeted.

Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent weeks after military standoff. The trigger was a devastating terrorist attack on Indian forces in the disputed Kashmir region in February.

The bombing was followed by the first aerial confrontation between the countries in several decades, something that was held up by Modi's allies as proof that he was only leader who could effectively respond to terror threats that Delhi says emanate from Pakistani soil, a claim refuted by Islamabad.

2:15 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Here's a recap on how Modi got here

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was poised for a landslide victory in the country's general elections, early results showed, defying expectations of even his own party to win a second term in office.

"You have seen that from 2014 to 2019, the people who used to talk about secularism have now gone quiet. In this election, not one political party has been able to deceive the people of India by wearing the label of secularism," Modi said in his victory speech at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi.

Now India's 200 million Muslims, who probably flooded to the secular Indian Congress Party, have a dwindling voice as the Congress barely survived as a credible opposition.

Watch the recap:

1:48 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

President Trump congratulates Modi on victory

President Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was poised for a landslide victory in the country's general elections.

Trump went on to say that he was looking forward to working with Modi.

"Great things are in store for the US-India partnership with the return of PM Modi at the helm," the US President tweeted.

12:49 p.m. ET, May 23, 2019

BJP wins 146 seats after Modi's victory speech

Election results are continuing to trickle in, after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's victory speech Thursday night.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has now won 146 seats in the Lok Sabha. The main opposition Congress Party trails behind with 29 seats.

BJP needs 126 more seats to secure victory.

11:05 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Modi promises "bright future" in victory speech

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah celebrate the BJP's election win.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah celebrate the BJP's election win. Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

In his victory speech at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Narendra Modi said his win is a "guarantee of a bright future for the common people of this country."

"I want to bow my head before the 1.3 billion people of this country.
The largest number of votes have been cast in this election. This in itself is because of the awareness of the people of the country, the democracy and the secularism of the country.
The world will have to acknowledge this -- to understand the democracy that is India.
This election is being fought by the people. If anyone has won, it is India. We dedicate this victory to the people of India."

Modi then promised to continue the development work his party has started, saying that this is the "21st century and it is a new India."

"This is not Modi’s victory, this is the victory of the hopes and dreams of the struggling people of the country.
This is the win for the women who have been waiting for toilets.
This is a win for the farmers of this country who work hard to fill the stomachs of the people of the country.
I want that the people who want a bright future for this country despite the government that comes to power – for the future of the country, its unity and diversity – this election has set a new narrative. 
This new narrative means that in this country that there will be only two castes and the country will be built only on those two castes.. Those two are the poor and the ones who contribute to the uplift the poor."

 Modi said the people should "accept this election with love."

"Governments are made with a majority and the public has made it too, but the spirit of a democracy, the spirit of the constitution gives us the responsibility that even if the government is built with a majority, the country runs with everyone together.
We will walk with everyone together. We will go ahead for the good of the country and even with this massive mandate, we should walk with love.
Our constitution is the most important and we should follow the letter of the constitution and in its shadow.
The country has given us a lot, and I want to assure the people that you have filled the lap of this beggar. You have filled it with a lot of hopes and dreams."

10:00 a.m. ET, May 23, 2019

Modi wins big in his constituency of Varanasi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has comfortably won in his constituency of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh state, with 63.62% of the vote.

Modi won 674,664 votes compared to his next opponent, Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party. Congress Party candidate Ajay Rai won 152,548 votes.

Modi smashed his 2014 showing in Varansi, when he won 371,000 votes.

The Prime Minister tweeted his thanks to the "people of Kashi," the ancient name for Varanasi.

Varanasi was among the last constituencies to go to the polls on May 19, in the seventh phase of India's marathon election.

CNN visited the city to examine how life has changed since he came to power -- and whether he was able to keep his previous election promises. Read more on that here.