Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has achieved a "massive" victory as votes were counted on Thursday May 23rd in the world's largest democracy, with an even bigger win for his Hindu nationalist party than in 2014, Reuters has reported.
After four hours of counting the 600 million votes cast, official data from India's Election Commission showed Modi's Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead in 298 of the 542 seats available, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament.
Indian stocks jumped to record highs as early results in the seven-phase election showed Modi on course for a second term.
"Time for transformation of India... Time for deep reform. I dream of us as a global superpower in my lifetime," tweeted India's richest banker, Uday Kotak, as he congratulated Modi.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also congratulated Modi upon the release of the early results of vote counting.
“Many congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delivering such a massive victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Swaraj said on Twitter.
“I express my gratitude to the people of the country.”