Two hours into counting and here’s what the leads look like:
BJP-led alliance: 149 (is the cow looking a little less petrified?)
Janata Dal and Communisty Party-led alliance: 70
RJD-led alliance: 32.
There are 543 seats altogether.
In Orissa, Navin Patnaik has emerged as a winner without tying up with either Congress or the BJP. Neither Congress nor the BJP can believe this.
In Andhra Pradesh, the man who did “Killer” is all set to be a kingmaker, both at the national and state level.
The truly scary part is that if this is indeed true, then the leadership of the BJP will in all probability go to Narendra Modi, which means a death knell to any hopes of moderation in the saffron agenda. The chances of the party taking the verdict of this election and deciding it shows that extremism is the way to get the votes are, sadly, very high.
The media is reporting that unless something truly bizarre happens, Dr. Manmohan Singh is going to be our Prime Minister is all over again. Thank you to everyone who voted; you’ve ensured we’re not dressed in a shade of dubious shade of saffron. Cheers! However, as a word of caution, let’s not forget these are only leads. Not results. There are some 14 rounds of counting and we’re now on round 1. The real clear winner, in my book, is Prannoy Roy. The grand old man of Indian tv journalism is still the coolest and calmest one.
UPDATE at 2pm: On CNN-IBN, RSS leader Tarun Vijay said that he thinks that BJP needs to “return unapologetically to ideology”. That’s the lesson that the BJP needs to appreciate from these elections, according to him.
One of the more genius moments of election coverage: Dr. Manmohan Singh doing the v for victory sign to the song “Singh is Kinng” (or however it is that they spelt that damn title).
BJP-led aliiance: 158
The good news: there is no way Mayawati can be Prime Minister.
The better news: the whiny, annoying Communist parties have been wiped out of both Bengal and Kerala.
The best news: the era of cute and bright Indian politicians is here. Go Rahul Gandhi and Omar Abdullah!