The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is tipped to form the next central Government with many exit polls projecting a clear majority for the coalition in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.
According to a report in The Hindu, the projections suggest that 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 television channels - NewsX, India TV, ABP News and CNN-IBN - put the NDA well past the half-way 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.
A report in Business Standard quoted senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley as saying: “Pollsters normally have a tendency to err on the side of caution”. Jaitley said he had no doubt that the large turnouts would “necessarily mean a decisive vote. A decisive vote in this election can only be a pro-Modi, pro-BJP or pro-NDA vote.”
A word of caution from foreign brokerage Credit Suisse: the investment bank said the exit polls still reveal a range of high uncertainty. A report in The Economic Times quoting the Credit Suisse report said that while national totals are within a relatively narrow range, the state numbers that add up to those totals vary widely.
The ruling Congress party has rejected the exit poll projections, saying a sample survey of a few lakh people cannot predict Lok Sabha poll results. A Business Standard report quoted Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s tweet: "In a country of 800 million voters how can few lakh sample size surveys predict the result? Let's wait for 16th May (when votes will be counted)."
So, the stage is set for the big day of Indian politics: May 16th when India will get a new political direction.