Home News Narendra Modi likely to win in landslide, polls show

Narendra Modi likely to win in landslide, polls show

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By Swati Gupta, Dan Strumpf and Shruti Srivastava | Bloomberg

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party is set to win a decisive majority in India’s election for the third time in a row, several exit polls showed, extending his decade in power atop the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

The polls showed his Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance will win substantially more seats than the 272 needed for a majority in India’s 543-seat lower house of parliament. Official election results will be released June 4.

Modi claimed victory for the BJP-led alliance based on the exit poll results, saying the ruling party’s track record resonated with voters, especially the poor.

“I can say with confidence that the people of India have voted in record numbers to reelect the NDA government,” he said in a post on social media platform X. He also criticized the opposition alliance’s campaign for failing to provide a vision for the country.

The results are likely to boost Indian financial markets, which had been volatile in recent weeks amid speculation the BJP and its allies would fail to meet Modi’s ambitious goal of winning 400 seats. In 2019, the BJP won 303 seats on its own and about 351 with its allies.

Read more: India’s Popular, Polarizing Leader Eyes a Thousand-Year Legacy

V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, predicted a market rally on Monday, saying the exit polls removes some of the election jitters that had been weighing on sentiment in May.

“This comes as a shot in the arm for the bulls who will trigger a big rally in the market on Monday,” he said. Investors will likely also be buoyed by data Friday showing the economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace of 8.2% in the fiscal year ended in March.

While exit polls have a mixed track record in Indian elections, they correctly predicted the broad outlines of the result from the 2019 and 2014 general elections.

Women stand in queue to cast their votes in the seventh and final phase of national elections, in Varanasi, India, Saturday, June 1, 2024. Indians began voting Saturday in the last round of a six-week-long national election that is a referendum on Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decade in power. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Women stand in ​line to cast their votes in the seventh and final phase of national elections, in Varanasi, India, Saturday, June 1, 2024. Indians began voting Saturday in the last round of a six-week-long national election. (Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press)

The polls were released after the last of India’s nearly 1 billion registered voters finished casting their ballots in a grueling six-week-long election that was spread over seven voting phases. It started on April 19.

The BJP’s strategy of centering its campaign around the hugely-popular Modi appears to have paid off if the exit polls are accurate. The party’s star campaigner, Modi criss-crossed the country holding roadshows and addressing large crowds. The party even titled its manifesto ‘Modi’s Guarantee.’

A win for Modi would be historic: no prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru — who ruled India for 17 years after independence — has managed to secure three consecutive terms in power.

The exit polls showed the BJP made gains in southern India, where Modi campaigned heavily to woo voters traditionally skeptical of the ruling party’s Hindu nationalist policies. The polls also showed the BJP retained much of its monopoly in the northern Hindi-speaking states.

The win also signals additional trouble for the country’s opposition, especially the Indian National Congress, the largest party in the opposition alliance. Failure to dent the BJP’s mandate for a third straight national election may fuel concerns the Congress party needs an ideological revamp or a change in leadership.



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