Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to return to power at the head of a coalition government, with exit polls predicting his Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies will win a majority of seats in India’s parliament.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance will win as many as 306 seats in India’s 543-seat lower house, according to an exit poll from TV channel Times Now.
The opposition Congress-led United Progressive Alliance coalition will win an estimated 132 seats, exit polls said.
Exit Polls BJP-led Ruling Coalition Congress-led Opposition Alliance Others Republic Tv-C Voter 287 128 127 Republic Tv-Jan Ki Baat 295-315 122-125 102-125 Times Now-VMR 306 132 104 News Nation 282-290 118-126 130-138
Polls were released on Sunday evening after the last of India’s 900 million registered voters cast ballots in a grueling six-week-long election that started on April 11.
"Conventional wisdom suggests the BJP will return to power, albeit with a less strong showing than in 2014, and many exit polls will reflect that projection," said Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Washington, DC-based Woodrow Wilson Center.
"That said, exit polls are not always a strong predictor, and Indian electoral politics are famously unpredictable. The bottom line is we should regard these exit polls as a useful data point, but we should ultimately take them with a grain of salt."
Markets are likely to cheer signs that Modi will return to power, even if he is slightly more constrained without the single-party majority the BJP won in 2014.
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