Exit polls suggest a win for Narendra Modi in world's biggest elections

Darnell Taylor
May 20, 2019

The counting of votes will take place on May 23, final results of the mega electoral exercise will be announced the same day.

The great outcome that makes Modi - Shah duo a juggernaut, is about West Bengal, where BJP has the probability to win around five seats in the state where BJP has no MP in the last elections.

What are the exit polls saying?

Narendra Modi was photographed meditating in a Himalayan cave as Indians went to the polls. "Not anymore", Gandhi tweeted Sunday evening, without giving any details.

Modi's constituency in Varanasi, the holy city in Uttar Pradesh state, was also among those to vote.

He spent Saturday night at Kedarnath, a temple of the Hindu god Shiva nestled in the Himalayas in northern India. Maoist rebels killed 15 troops and their driver in the western state of Maharashtra on May 1, the latest attack in a decades-long insurgency. The BJP won 72 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014.

Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal state and a bitter opponent of Modi, said the fight was not over.

Fake news and doctored images have abounded, including of Gandhi and Modi having lunch with Imran Khan, prime minister of arch rival Pakistan, or of a drunk Priyanka Gandhi, a politician and the sister of Rahul.

The Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies estimates that the outlay on this election could top $7 billion, making it one of the priciest contests globally - with the lion's share of the spending by the BJP trying to woo India's 900 million eligible voters.

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on course to win the general election, exit polls suggest. On the one hand, KCR is known to be close to PM Modi, but in the last few weeks, his efforts to build support for his "Federal Front" have him convinced that most regional parties seem to want to support the Congress. The Times Now-VMR survey gave 21 seats to NDA (BJP) and seven to the UPA (Congress & JD-S).

"People are divided for many reasons. Things are not predictable like before", he said.

This has made the Muslims of India feel increasingly afraid.

"I straight away came from my morning walk to cast my vote and was surprised to see enthusiasm among the voters", said Ramesh Kumar Singh, who was among the first ones to vote.

Modi and his BJP faced criticism in the run-up to the election over unemployment, in particular for failing to provide opportunities to young people coming onto the job market, and for weak farm prices.

Some of Modi's boldest policy steps, such as the demonetization of high currency notes to curb black-market money and bring a large number of people into tax net, proved to be economically damaging.

A haphazard implementation of "one nation, one tax" - The Goods and Services Tax - also hit small and medium businesses.

Voter turnout in the first six rounds was approximately 66%, the Election Commission said, up from 58% in the last national election in 2014.

Elections were held for 542 seats in the Lower House of Parliament, with 272 seats needed to secure a majority.

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