Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in lead as India begins counting votes to decide country’s fate

India has began counting hundreds of millions of votes after holding its mammoth general elections for nearly six weeks in seven phases.

According to India’s Election Commission, the data shows that Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in contests for 269 out of 542 seats. While Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s Indian National Congress is just behind with 56 seats.

A party needs a simple majority or 272 seats to govern the country. In 2014 Indian general elections, the BJP secured 282 seats, which is the biggest victory by any party in 30 years. The Congress won just 44 seats.

India’s general elections began on April 11 and had seven phases. The voting in all seven phases ended on May 19. The counting for votes began today, while the result are expected to be announced later today.