Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Exit polls show Narendra Modi-led NDA on course for victory in Lok Sabha elections

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Partyled National Democratic Alliance is expected to win India's general elections comfortably, with exit polls commissioned by various TV channels giving it a majority or putting it well within shouting distance of forming the next government. The results of the surveys back up opinion polls that predicted the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will take over at the head of an NDA government after votes are counted on May 16, ending the decade-long rule of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.

The figures predicted by various pollsters come very close to NDA's total tally of 296 in 1999, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee led the coalition to its second consecutive victory.

Of all the channels, only Times NOW gave NDA cause for worry by not predicting a simple majority.

It gave BJP and its allies 249-265 seats, still putting NDA in a comfortable zone, requiring just 20 or so seats from post-poll allies.

The other channels that released their post-poll surveys on Monday predicted an easy win for NDA with CNN-IBN forecasting about 280, Headlines Today 272, India TV 289, ABP 281 and News 24 up to 340 seats in a house of 543.

To be sure, Indian exit polls have a history of being off the mark. In 2004, they forecast a win for NDA and a hung House in 2009. Both times, UPA came to power.

But if BJP manages to win more than the 206 seats that Congress got in 2009 and if NDA's tally surpasses UPA's 259, the new government may well be one of the strongest in recent times with the party not needing to go in for any hard bargaining with post-poll allies.

Such a situation, according to BJP leaders who did not want to be identified, will give Modi a free hand to form the government and make it decisive in terms of policy formulation and implementation of tough non-populist decisions.

The markets have been rising to successive highs on expectations that NDA would be well-placed to form the next government and shot up to record levels on Monday as well, even before the exit poll results were announced.

While exit surveys put the NDA toll in the 249-340 range, Modi's close associate Amit Shah said he expects the BJP-led grouping's tally could cross 300. "I personally believe, after having spoken to party workers, that BJP will win between 250-260 seats on its own and NDA" could end up with 290-305 seats, Shah told a television channel. Modi had entrusted Shah with orchestrating the campaign in Uttar Pradesh, India's politically most critical state as it sends 80 lawmakers to Parliament.... http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/exit-polls-show-narendra-modi-led-nda-on-course-for-victory-in-lok-sabha-elections/articleshow/35027632.cms
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