Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to retain power with most exit polls forecasting a majority for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP is set for a second term at the Centre, riding on a clean sweep of the Hindi heartland yet again and significant gains in West Bengal and Odisha.
An India Today-Axis poll sees the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance romping home with as many as 365 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Its base figure for the combine is 339 seats.
Two exit polls -- one by News18-IPSOS and another by Zee -- forecast a tally of 336 seats for the NDA.
News X TV put out the most conservative numbers for the right wing party, predicting the tally of its NDA combine to come at 242 against United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) 164.
An India Today-Axis poll sees the BJP getting 62-68 seats in Uttar Pradesh, electorally the most crucial state with its 80 seats in the Lok Sabha. Similarly, the News18-IPSOS poll gave the BJP 60-62 seats in the north Indian state.
The biggest gains for the saffron party are seen coming from West Bengal and Odisha. The India Today poll expects the BJP to get as many as 19-23 seats in the state which sends 42 legislators to the Lok Sabha.
In the 21-member Odisha, BJP is expected to get 15-19 seats with the remaining going to the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal.
Another big gain could come from Bihar where the India Today poll predicts a clean sweep for the BJP-Janata Dal (United) alliance at 38-40 seats. The BJP juggernaut is expected to roll on in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand as well.
The counting of votes will happen on Thursday and the initial trends should be available by 9AM.
The bitterly-fought seven-phase exercise, stretching over 39 days, ended today.
In a major shift of stance from 2014 when Modi rode to power on his ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ agenda, he this time sought another term on the basis of strong and clean governance, rooting out corruption, providing social welfare schemes directly to the beneficiaries and muscular nationalism.
The opposition ran its campaign accusing the government of polarising the country on communal lines, ignoring the farmers while catering to industrialists and mismanaging the economy.