India’s PM Modi secures second term & stronger majority, exit polls show

Elias Hubbard
Мая 20, 2019

Any party or alliance needs to cross 272 seat mark in parliament, and votes are to be counted on Thursday.

Pre-election poll surveys by the media indicate that no party is likely to win anything close to a majority in parliament with 543 seats.

Total voter turnout in the national election was 64.9 per cent, the election commission said, lower than 66.40 per cent in the last national vote in 2014.

A few exit polls, particularly the exit poll released by India Today- My Axis, suggested that the BJP would even exceed its expectations and win more than 22 seats in the state. Analysts warn exit polls have often been wrong in the past.

Indians lined up to vote amid unprecedented security in the eastern state of West Bengal on Sunday as the final phase of a massive, staggered election got underway to decide whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns for a second term.

The exit poll gives around 60 seats for BJP in Uttar Pradesh limiting Congress to two seats and the remaining going to SP-BSP alliance. One poll by Neta Newsx, though, forecast Modi's group falling 30 seats short.

Reporting from Varanasi, Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman said while the BJP stressed on national security as its main poll agenda, the opposition attempted to corner him by focusing on issues of development.

Almost a 100 million people are eligible to vote on Sunday in 59 constituencies across seven states - including the politically-critical Uttar Pradesh in the north and West Bengal in the east.

With the majority of the polls indicating a clear majority for Modi's alliance, Indian equity markets are expected to rally sharply on Monday, while the Indian rupee is also likely to strengthen again the USA dollar, according to market insiders.

Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party is seeking re-election for another five years.

But his supporters say Modi and his allies are simply restoring Hinduism to its rightful place at the core of Indian society.

Hoping to become the fourth member of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to lead India, Rahul Gandhi has struggled to make himself heard above the din of the BJP's campaign juggernaut.

"The massive crowds and response at every rally of Prime Minister Modi were a clear indicator of their approval for his leadership, the performance of the past five years and the vision for the future", Nalin Kohli, a spokesman of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party said.

Dilip Agrawal, 46, who runs a mill in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, said he had voted for Modi, despite the difficulties faced by farmers. In 2014, Congress failed to open an account in Rajasthan.

Exit poll predictions, with majority seem to be favouring the BJP's poll slogan ' Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkaar (Modi once again),' left the party leaders upbeat, especially the party's projected performance in West Bengal, where the BJP and the state's ruling TMC had engaged into the most bitter fight.

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

What are the exit polls saying?

"I appeal to all opposition parties to be united, strong and bold".

From Goa's beaches to Mumbai's slums and Ladakh's Himalayan monasteries, some 900 million eligible voters have had the chance to exercise their democratic right over the past six weeks.

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