The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is tipped to form the next government with many exit polls projecting a clear majority for the coalition in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.
The projections suggest that the BJP is set to record its best-ever performance, with some polls giving it well over 200 seats. In contrast, the Congress is headed for its worst-ever showing in a Lok Sabha election with a tally of less than 100 seats, the exit polls said.
Four channels — NewsX, India TV, ABP News and CNN-IBN — put the NDA well past the halfway mark of 272. NewsX and India TV projected 289 seats for the NDA while ABP News gave it 281 seats. The CNN-IBN tally for the NDA was in the 279-282 range.
The India Today Group post-poll survey was a bit more conservative, putting the NDA figure in the range of 261-283, which is within striking distance of forming a government even if the coalition scores on the lower side. Times Now put the NDA number much lower at 249.
Most of the polls showed the United Progressive Alliance getting between 101 and 148 seats. NewsX gave the UPA 101 seats, India TV 107 seats, ABP News 97 and CNN-IBN 92-102.
‘Others’, including regional parties and the Left Front, were projected to get between 146 and 156 seats.
The exit polls predicted the BJP drawing a blank in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, but in north India a Narendra Modi wave was set to sweep aside regional heavyweights like the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar.
The BJP’s biggest gains are in Uttar Pradesh where at least two surveys have predicted the party to win 54 seats, three short of its all-time high of 57 in 1998. Likewise in Bihar, the exit poll results dismissed any chance of the RJD’s resurgence, giving a clear lead to the NDA.
In its maiden election, the Aam Aadmi Party is tipped to pick up an average of five seats and an all-India vote share of about four per cent.