Indian election: Narendra Modi hails 'landmark' win
Incoming Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed a "landmark" election victory by his BJP party.
Thanking supporters in his own constituency in his home state of Gujarat, Mr Modi said they had written a new chapter in the country's history.
Results show the BJP won the biggest victory by any party for 30 years, gaining a majority in parliament and trouncing the outgoing Congress Party.
The controversial leader campaigned on promises to revive the economy.
At the scene
The scene at the BJP headquarters resembles a carnival. The entire building has been decorated with the party flag, giant posters of Narendra Modi have been placed outside and large television screens are displaying the vote count.
As the scale of the BJP's victory became apparent, the atmosphere became more frenzied.
Young men with "Modi for PM" emblazoned on their t-shirts danced, chanting his name. Others signed a huge banner with their hero's picture, congratulating him and even advising him on how to run the country.
And the street outside the party headquarters is already resembling a battlefield, strewn with the remains of firecrackers, the air thick with smoke.
However, many Indians still have profound concerns over Mr Modi because of claims he did little to stop communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 when he was first minister in the state.
At least 1,000 people died, most of them Muslims.
Mr Modi has always denied the allegations over he was never charged.'Real government'
With votes still being counted, the BJP has won more than the 272 seats needed for a parliamentary majority.
With its allies, the party could get more than 330 seats.
"India has won, good days are about to come," Mr Modi tweeted as it became clear that the BJP had triumphed.
The tweet became the most retweeted in India's history.
The prime minister-elect told his supporters the victory was no ordinary one.
"In the 60-year history of Indian independence, I have never seen this in the Indian media, what you have done in our country," Mr Modi said, as supporters shouted "Modi, Modi, Modi".
He said he would rule for all Indians.Continue reading the main story
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"Real government doesn't belong to a community. It belongs to the entire country," he said.
End Quote Shamila Chaudhary John Hopkins University
The elections offer a chance for a fresh start for the stalled India policy of the Obama administration”
"The real government will belong from Kashmir on top to Kanya Kumari [on India's southern tip] - that is a real government."
Several world leaders have congratulated Mr Modi on his victory.
US President Barack Obama phoned the prime minister-elect and said the US "looks forward to working with India to continue to build a strong partnership between our democracies", National Security Adviser Susan Rice wrote on Twitter.
Earlier UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Mr Modi.
He received invitations to Washington and London, despite being persona non grata in both capitals following the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif commended the BJP's "impressive victory" in the election.
The election result will be a crushing blow to the Congress party, which is led by the Nehru-Gandhi family and has dominated Indian politics since independence.
It is only expected to win 44 seats.
The election reflects voter anger with Congress, which has been mired in serious corruption scandals and whose leadership has been considered ineffective in recent years, analysts say.
Accepting defeat, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said: "We humbly respect the verdict of the people."
Share prices rallied to new highs on BJP promises of economic revival.
More than 500 million people voted in what is the world's biggest exercise in democracy.
Voter turnout in the mammoth nine-phase general election was a record 66.38%, beating the previous 1984 poll record.
- World's biggest exercise in electoral democracy; 814 million eligible voters
- A total of 8,251 candidates stood for election
- It started five weeks ago and a total of 551 million votes were cast, with a record 66.38% turnout
- The party or alliance that wins a majority in the 543-seat parliament forms the government