Exit polls point to Modi-powered NDA
Narendra Modi could become India’s next prime minister, with the BJP-led NDA coalition poised to return to power by winning majority in the Lok Sabha, exit polls said on Monday.
The Congress could end up with its lowest tally ever in the Lok Sabha, perhaps even just two digits, in the worst-case scenario. The projections were based on what voters told surveyors after they cast their ballot in the elections held over nine phases between April 7 and May 12.
Three exit polls said the NDA could get between 272 and 289 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Four other exit polls gave the NDA a comfortable tally, between 289 and 340 seats. All of them appeared to show that a Congress-backed Third Front was unlikely as its tally could fall to its lowest level.
The exit polls showed Modi pushing the BJP’s electoral fortunes to a new mark in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra, though his last-minute appeal for more than 300 seats for his party alone may not materialise easily.
Times Now-ORG poll put the NDA tally between 249 and 265 and the UPA at 148 seats.
Its figure for Uttar Pradesh showed that the BJP could win 52 of the 80 seats from the state, followed by the Samajwadi Party with 12 seats. The Congress could get just 10 and the BSP only six seats.
Overall, the exit polls gave the BJP and its allies far more seats than the Congress-led UPA in northern, western and central India. Only some parts of the country’s south held hope for the Congress.
ABP News-Nielsen said the BJP would make huge gains in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra which together account for 168 crucial Lok Sabha seats. In Maharashtra, the BJP (21) and its ally Shiv Sena (11) were poised to net 32 of the 48 seats, leaving the Congress bruised in all three states.
CNN-IBN said the BJP was expected to do unusually well in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu where traditionally it has been weak. The BJP could win 1-3 of West Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, while the ruling Trinamool Congress would get 25-31, leaving the Left at a distant second (7-11) followed by the Congress (2-4).
In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK was projected to win 22-28 of the 39 seats, followed by the DMK (7-11) and the BJP (4-6). The Congress would be routed, CNN-IBN said.
The BJP was also ahead of the Congress in Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, exit polls said.
The NDA’s most optimistic figures came from exit polls by Today’s Chanakya-News 24 that gave a figure of 340 (+/-14 seats). The Congress stood at 70 while “others” were placed at 133. Equally upbeat in its findings was India News, which put the BJP+ at 315 seats and the Congress at 80 seats.
CSDS-Lokniti and CNN-IBN conducted a post-poll survey. Its findings were 272 to 282 seats for the NDA, with the BJP alone poised to get 230 to 242 seats. The Congress-led UPA seat share varied between 92 and 102 seats.