A voter gets her finger marked with indelible ink at a polling station during the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections (Source: PTI)

Exit Polls 2019 Updates: Modi Likely To Return To Power, With Polls Predicting NDA Majority

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National Picture: NDA Set To Return To Power

Total Seats: 542

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to return to power with at least four exit polls predicting that BJP and its allies will win a majority of seats in India’s parliament, while others have indicated NDA to be the largest coalition.

The exit poll results may come as a surprise as a resurgent opposition was widely expected to make a dent in Modi's hopes for a second term. The election has largely been seen as a battle between opposition parties banding together to contest against Modi's BJP.

Still, exit polls are only an indicator, and have a patchy track record of predicting election winners. In 2004, most exit polls had wrongly predicted the NDA government to come to power. Similar. Even in 2009 exit polls gave UPA a slim lead over the NDA whereas the actual results saw a Congress-led alliance winning by a comfortable margin.

Who will get the people’s mandate and make it to Raisina Hill? That’s a question which will only be answered on May 23.

Exit Polls 2019 Updates: Modi Likely To Return To Power, With Polls Predicting NDA Majority

Jharkhand: Hangs In Balance

Total Seats: 14

Two pollsters predict BJP to emerge victorious in Jharkhand. Two other see Congress coming out with more seats in the state.

Exit Polls 2019 Updates: Modi Likely To Return To Power, With Polls Predicting NDA Majority

Chhattisgarh: A Close Shave For BJP

Total Seats: 11

The Hindi heartland state of Chhattisgarh may see the BJP return to power even as Congress makes a slight improvement to their 2014 tally. Again, the exit polls have suggested that the recent assembly election victory for Congress may not translate to a win in Lok Sabha.

Exit Polls 2019 Updates: Modi Likely To Return To Power, With Polls Predicting NDA Majority

Assam: A Tough Fight

Total Seats: 14

BJP and Congress are expected to go neck-and-neck in Assam with two exit poll suggesting a tough fight. However, one outlier suggest BJP may take the state with ease.

Exit Polls 2019 Updates: Modi Likely To Return To Power, With Polls Predicting NDA Majority

Exit Polls: The Parties' View

Congress spokesperson Salman Soz said he did not know why there was such a disparity between last year's assembly election in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and what the exit polls have indicated for the same states in the Lok Sabha. “Exit polls have a mixed record, one has to take this with a spoon of salt,” Soz told BloombergQuint. “In certain states we have divergent views on the results.”

On the other hand, BJP’s Sunil Deodhar noted that holding the seats they won in 2014 while winning “bonus” seats in West Bengal and Odisha is what worked in their favour. He said that the exit polls show that people want Modi to come back for a second term.

Exit Polls: The Experts' View

Experts BloombergQuint spoke to have suggested that the exit poll numbers indicate that Indians voted for a prime ministerial candidate instead of choosing a member of Parliament.

“The big picture is that there is a silent Modi wave 2.0. This election is more about choosing a prime minister than choosing a member of Parliament,” political strategist Amitabh Tiwari said. “And it clearly shows that the people have voted for the PM candidate. There was no other candidate for the opposition. So it has gone as planned for the BJP.”

Watch the full discussion here:

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