The BJP is contesting 437 seats this election, the Congress 423.
For the first time in the history of Indian elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting more seats than the Congress.
The BJP is contesting elections in 437 constituencies this election while the Congress is contesting 14 seats -- 423 -- fewer.
1984 was the first Lok Sabha election the BJP contested after it was born in 1980.
The BJP fielded 224 candidates in 1984 and won just 2 seats! The party won only 7.74% of the votes polled.
The Congress won 404 seats -- its highest ever -- and 49.10% of the vote in an election held weeks after Indira Gandhi's assassination.
The two BJP MPs elected were Dr A K Patel, who won from Mehsana in Gujarat, and Chandupatla Janga Reddy, who won from Hanamkonda in Andhra Pradesh.
In 1986, Lal Kishenchand Advani took over as BJP president from Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a lot changed for the party when Advani was at the helm from 1986 to 1996.
The BJP won 85 of the 225 seats it contested in the 1989 Lok Sabha election.
Its vote share rose to 11.36%. The Congress won 39.53% of the vote, a nearly 10% drop from the election five years earlier.
The Congress won only 197 of the 510 seats it contested and lost power at the Centre.
In the 1991 Lok Sabha election, the BJP contested 468 seats -- the second highest it has fought since its founding -- and won 120 seats.
It also increased its vote share to 20.11%.
The Congress won 232 of the 487 seats it contested -- recovering ground after its leader Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during the election campaign.
But its vote share dipped further -- the Congress won 36.26% of the votes.
1991 was the last election the Congress won a vote share of 30% and above.
The election to the 11th Lok Sabha were held in 1996. The BJP contested 471 seats -- its highest ever till date -- and won 161 of them.
The party vote share was intact at 20.29%.
The Congress won 140 of the 529 seats it contested, getting 28.80% of the vote share.
The mid-term 1998 election again produced a fractured mandate with the BJP winning 182 of the 388 seats it contested.
The Congress saw its seats decline to 141 seats.
The BJP equalled the Congress vote share for the first time.
While the BJP won 25.59% of the vote, the Congress vote share declined to 25.82% per cent.
Another mid-term election was called after Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government lost a vote of confidence -- when the AIADMK withdrew support -- by just 1 vote.
The 1999 general election saw the BJP making further inroads in the Congress support base.
The BJP won 182 of the 339 seats it contested though its vote share saw a marginal drop to 23.75%.
The Congress won just 114 of the 453 seats it contested, but its vote share saw a marginal rise to 28.30%.
The BJP cobbled up a coalition with regional parties and the National Democratic Alliance was born with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as prime minister.
The 2004 general election was a contest between the NDA and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
Despite its India Shining campaign, the BJP won only 138 of the 364 seats it contested.
The Congress won 145 of the 400 seats it contested.
The BJP vote share declined to 22.16%; the Congress vote share declined to 26.53%.
The Left -- which supported the UPA from outside -- made substantial gains, winning 60 Lok Sabha seats.
The Congress formed the government for the first time since May 1991 with Dr Manmohan Singh as prime minister.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 116 of the 433 seats it contested.
The Congress managed its best showing in the new century, winning 206 of the 440 Lok Sabha seats it contested.
The Congress increased its vote share to 28.55% while the BJP's vote share declined to 18.80%.
For the first time since the 1984 Lok Sabha election, a party won an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha with the BJP winning 282 of the 428 seats it contested.
The BJP's vote share crossed the 30% mark for the first time -- under Narendra Damodardas Modi's leadership, it won 31.34% of the vote.
The Congress suffered its worst election defeat, winning a mere 44 of the 464 seats it contested.
The Congress vote share shrunk to 19.52%, its worst till date.
How many of the 437 constituencies will the BJP win this Lok Sabha election?
Can the Congress improve its dismal 2014 tally in the 423 seats it is contesting this time?
Text: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com. Graphics: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com. Data Source: Election Commission of India.