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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Snapshots - India's election results day
Uttar PradeshDelhiGujaratWest BengalMaharashtraKarnatakaTamil Nadu

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has resigned after a surprise victory by the opposition Congress party in the country's general election.

Behind the national headlines there have been local successes and unexpected defeats for senior figures.

Click on the map or the links below it to read about the reaction and the mood of voters, party supporters and political commentators from BBC correspondents across India.


In India's most populous state with 85 parliamentary seats, both the mainstream political parties - the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress - have performed badly.

The BJP managed to win just 11 seats, lower than an internal state party assessment of 18 seats and a far cry from pre-election 30-seat claims by senior party leaders.

The Congress, which was expected to fare badly, managed just nine seats.

Local voters told me that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government "was for the rich people".

Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Sonia
Priyanka Gandhi watches the count in her mother's Rai Bareilly constituency
The powerful regional Samajwadi Party, led by the state's chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, mopped up 35 seats and emerged as the single-largest party.

Mr Yadav's state government had stepped up electricity supply in villages and reduced fees at government hospitals to win support.

The regional Bahujan Samaj Party, led by former chief minister Mayawati, won 18 seats.


Police in the Indian capital closed roads leading to the Congress office because they were unable to manage hundreds of people who had gathered there to celebrate the party's victory.

Congress supporters in the capital

The Congress party, which is sweeping back to power in India, is in a jubilant mood. Party supporters are dancing, beating drums, bursting crackers and shouting slogans.

Congress supporter Sanjay Sharma said celebrations would run late into the night and spill over to the next few days.

Surinder Kumar, an auto rickshaw driver, said the BJP has paid the price for not helping the poor.

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, who won a seat from Delhi, was distributing sweets to his supporters before leaving for his victory march.

Barely five kilometres away, the office of the Bharatiya Janata Party looked deserted in the afternoon.

The rooms of the office bearers were closed and security personnel could be seen sitting and fanning themselves with their hankies.


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recorded a dismal poll performance in a state which is known as its stronghold.

The shock result came after the BJP had ridden the crest of a Hindu nationalist wave in the assembly elections in December 2002 - in which it recorded a two-thirds majority.

This followed long months of violence between Hindus and Muslims, in which at least 1,000 people were killed.

Hindutva - the philosophy of "Hindu-ness" - ceased to be an issue in this parliamentary election and the "India shining" slogan could not get the votes for the BJP in a state which has seen economic problems.

Veteran political analyst Achyut Yagnik told the BBC: "It was just a negative vote in this election. People voted to express their resentment with the BJP both in the centre as well as the state and the Congress gained by default as there is no third force in the state.

"There was large scale in-fighting within the BJP ranks between people belonging to rival camps," he added.


"We held firm in our Red Fort," says Bengal's Left Front chairman Biman Bose.

He is right. The Left Front candidates recorded decisive wins in 34 of the state's 42 seats and are ahead in one more seat still to report.

The Congress party has had a revival of sorts, winning nine seats.

The biggest losses have been for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, an ally of the BJP-led coalition.

The Trinamool Congress managed to win just one seat - Ms Banerjee herself was the only successful candidate - in what is a major blow to a party with a reputation of giving a stiff fight to the formidable Communists who have ruled the state for the past 27 years.

Scene from a Calcutta polling station
Officials in Calcutta check an electronic voting machine
Both the BJP ministers, Tapan Sikdar and Satyabrata Mukherji, lost leaving the party with no seats in the state.

The Communists even did well in urban Calcutta, where it lost all the five seats in the last parliamentary polls.

What's the trick? How has the Left Front managed to hold on to power in West Bengal?

Political analyst Ranabir Sammadar says the Left Front has given Bengal "a heady combination of land reforms and effective local self government, social peace and an element of distributive justice" during its two and half decades in power.

"There's an India beyond the Sensex, the share markets and the big cities and the BJP will discover this harsh reality in defeat."


There were scenes of jubilation outside a counting centre when popular comic Bollywood star Govinda romped home in his first election - defeating the federal energy minister Ram Naik by some 48,000 votes.

Govinda turned out to be a giant killer, trouncing a veteran politician like Naik, who had won from the North Mumbai constituency five times in the past.

Govinda in Bombay
Bollywood star-turned-Congress politician shakes hands with supporters in Bombay
An evidently jubilant Govinda, seemingly stunned by the margin of his victory, stood on top of a car and shook hands with people, while party workers kept singing a popular film song hailing the star for three hours at a stretch.

They also shouted slogans in support of the star and threw colour powder over each other. Govinda was joined in his celebrations by fellow Bollywood stars including Sanjay Dutt, who came with his father, former actor turned Congress parliamentarian, Sunil Dutt.

"I am going to do whatever I am asked to do for my constituency. I will push my constituency in the parliament," a happy Govinda told BBC News Online. "I have won because of the blessings of Sonia Gandhi and the good wishes of my parents."


People say the Congress government, led by the technology-savvy SM Krishna, slipped because his government failed to address the needs of rural people.

This state has reeled under droughts for the past three years and there have been reports of a number of farmers committing suicide.

SM Krishna
Karnataka's chief minister, SM Krishna, heads for the exit
Farmers are also believed to have used their votes against a hike in electricity rates. For example, Murugan, a young man, said that the rise in electricity charges was the "last straw" on the farmer's back.

Farm owner Pacha Gowda said that the SM Krishna government ignored the rural community: "It did nothing for the farmers."


There were scenes of jubilation outside the regional DMK party headquarters in Chennai when news began coming in of the party's clean sweep against the rival AIADMK-BJP alliance.

Congress supporters in Madras
Jubilant Congress supporters in Madras
Somasundaram, a local worker, said :"The NDA government is anti-labour. It has been responsible for closure of many factories in India."

Housewife Chitra said people had been irked by the BJP's anti-Sonia Gandhi tirade during the campaign. "It was too much. I see Sonia as an Indian daughter-in-law, not a foreigner. To damn a person belonging to the Nehru family is uncharitable."

India votes 2004: Full in-depth coverage here

Cabinet members Old faces return
Gandhi family loyalists back in from the cold, but no fresh blood in cabinet.




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