Alwaght- Early results in India's marathon elections indicate the strong return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a second term.
Modi is the first non-Congress prime minister in India to return to power after a full five-year term.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in nearly 340 of the 542 seats that went to the polls.
The opposition United Progressive Alliance (UPA) headed by the Indian National Congress (INC) is leading in less than 100, while the party itself leads in about 50. In 2014, the Congress had won 44 seats.
The party or coalition with a simple majority (272 seats) is invited to form the government. The MPs from the winning party or coalition elect their leader, who then becomes the country's prime minister.
About 67 percent of more than 900 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the staggered elections that the ruling party fought on issues of national security and a hardline Hindu agenda.
Modi, now within touching distance of a massive victory in the general election, promised on Thursday to build a strong and inclusive nation.
"Together we grow," he said on Twitter. "Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!"
A number of world leaders have congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his historic return to power for a second straight term.
Among the leaders who have sent their congratulatory messages are Afghanistan president Ashraf Gani, Russia's Vladimir Putin, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Chinese president Xi Jinping, and Nepal's PM K P Sharma.
As results suggesting a massive BJP win began to emerge, India's Muslims said they were worried about the future of secularism in the country.