Narendra Modi is set to become India’s next prime minister.
Partial results suggest the opposition leader’s Bharatiya Janata Party will win the most decisive general election victory the country has seen in decades
The pro-business, Hindu nationalist BJP has exceeded the 272-seat majority needed to create a government without forming a coalition.
News of the expected win has driven shares to all-time highs and the rupee is at its strongest level against the dollar in 11 months.
Speaking on Friday, Modi thanked the Indian people.
“I thank all of you from my heart and I salute all of you,” he said. “You have all carried out a great responsibility.”
The election result will be a crushing blow to the Congress party, led by the Nehru-Gandhi family, which has dominated Indian politics since independence.
“This verdict is absolutely against our party. We respect the people’s verdict with humility,” said Congress party chief, Sonia Gandhi.
More than 550 million people voted in the nine-phase, five-week-long ballot.
The turnout at 66.38 percent broke previous records. Full results are expected by Saturday morning, but a landslide win for Modi is all but guaranteed.
Both businesses and India’s youth backed the BJP leader following an election campaign which focussed on reducing bureaucracy, creating jobs and promoting investment.