NEW DELHI, May20: After the conclusion of the long-drawn seven phases of polling on Sunday, leading exit polls predicted the return of Narendra Modi government at the Centre with easy and clear majority.
If exit polls predictions come true on May 23, the day when results of 542 Lok Sabha seats will start pouring in, it would be a first for the Modi led NDA coalition to have another go at governing the country for a second five-year term. The Congress-led UPA coalition was predicted to see its tally of 60 seats of 2014 of more than doubling but exit polls indications are that it would not prove to be a strong challenger to dislodge the Modi government from the Centre.
In the most crucial state of Uttar Pradesh which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha, ABP News exit poll predicted 22 seats for the BJP while 56 to SP-BSP alliance and two to the Congress. However, Poll of Polls projected 55 seats to BJP in UP and 23 to SP-BSP tie-up and two to the Congress. In the last 2014 polls, BJP had bagged 71 seats in the State on its own, its ally Apna Dal had won two seats.
As the curtain came down on the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections on Sunday, all eyes turned to the projections being made by the exit polls by several news channels and surveys. Times Now-VMR exit poll predicted 306 seats for the BJP-led NDA ruling dispensation. It projected 132 seats for the Congress-led UPA while gave others 104 seats.
Republic-C Voter projected 287 seats for the BJP—NDA coalition and 128 for the Congress-UPA.
According to News Nation predicted 282-290 seats for the BJP-led NDA, 118 – 126 seats for UPA and 130-136 for others.
According to surveys, BJP seems to have regained lost ground in three crucial Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh which the Lotus party had lost last years in assembly polls to the Congress. The exit polls indicate that BJP could win 22 out of 25 total seats in Rajasthan, 25 out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and seven out of 11 seats in Chhattisgarh. In the national capital of Delhi, exit polls predicted a clean sweep for the BJP on all seven Lok Sabha seats.
According to four surveys, the saffron party is set to win at least 11 seats in West Bengal where it had showed good performance only in 2 seats in 2014. The Republic TV Jan ki Baat exit poll gives BJP win in 18-26 seats while Trinamool Congress could make it only in 13-21 seats. Times Now-VMR gives BJP 11 seats and predicts 28 seats for Mamata Banerjee-led outfit while two for Congress and one Left.
The India News-Polstrat gives saffron party 14 seats and says Trinamool could win in 26 seats out of 42. In the national capital of Delhi, Times Now-VMR predict a clean sweep for the BJP on all seven Lok Sabha seats while Poll of Polls says the saffron party could win six seats.
Exit polls also predicted a setback for N.Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP which is likely to win eight seats while YSR Congress led by Jaganmohan Reddy is set to take the lion's share of 17 seats in Andhra Pradesh. The survey from Bihar also shows that the BJP's gamble to tie up with Nitish Kumar's JD(U) has paid rich dividends with the NDA likely to win 31 seats out of 40. Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP is also a partner of the saffron party in the state.
However, amid good showing at the national level, the saffron party poll strategists could be heading for a minor embarrassment as the exit polls show that it could lose two of the 26 seats in Mr Modi's native state of Gujarat.Prime Minister Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah exuded confidence at their press meet at the party headquarters here this week, saying the party would return to power with clear and comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha.
The first phase of polling had kicked off on April 11 and the long drawn campaign and polling amidst heat and dust proved to be a long drawn and tiring affair for the political bigwigs who criss-crossed the country in their campaign as well as the people who turned up to cast their votes.