India’s longest and most punishing general elections

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By Editor Jawed Naqvi, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, The India Observer, TIO: NEW DELHI: India’s longest and most punishing general elections, during which dozens including poll officials died of heat stroke, ended on Saturday with the opposition INDIA group estimating a majority with 295 seats and exit polls giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi more than 300 MPs.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters after a meeting with the INDIA partners at his New Delhi home that after consultation with all the parties, they expected to form the next government with over 295 seats. His claim accords with what most YouTube news portals have been saying with the help of reporters on the ground.

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A simple majority in the 543-seat Lok Sabha requires 272. However, major TV channels have been backing Mr. Modi’s count of crossing 400. According to a summary of an exit poll backed by NDTV, which is owned by Gautam Adani, a billionaire friend of the prime minister, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance is projected to win a majority.

India’s longest general elections end

The summary of two exit polls projected that the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could win more than 350 seats in Lok Sabha, while the opposition INDIA alliance led by Congress was projected to win more than 120 seats.

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Some exit polls showed the BJP opening its account in Kerala with one or two seats. The BJP is projected as making gains in West Bengal and Odisha as well as Andhra Pradesh to increase its tally.

In West Bengal, for example, a poll by Jan Ki Baat has predicted between 21 and 26 seats for the BJP and from 16 to 18 seats for the Trinamool Congress.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front was expected to sweep Kerala, with the Left Front projected to be reduced to a single digit. Both are INDIA allies.

Pollster Yogendra Yadav had predicted a less-than-270 tally for the BJP, while analyst Prashant Kishor had — in a hostile interview — claimed the BJP will get above 300 seats alone.

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The India Today-Axis My India poll has the BJP-led NDA winning 23-25 seats in Karnataka, and the INDIA group bagging three to five seats only.

The same polls have the NDA in Bihar — which includes Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) — bagging 29-33 seats, while the INDIA bloc having seven to 10 seats.

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The India Today-Axis My India poll predicts the INDIA bloc sweeping the Tamil Nadu state with 33-37 seats, while the NDA winning two to four seats as well as the AIADMK+ winning up to two seats.

In Chhattisgarh, the same polls have NDA winning 10-11 and the INDIA alliance with one seat.

In Jharkhand, the chief minister of which was arrested and remains in jail, the NDA is predicted to win 8-10 seats, and INDIA (of which former chief minister Hemant Soren’s party Jharkhand Janmukti Morcha is a part), with 4-6.

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The two Goa seats are predicted to be split between the NDA and INDIA bloc. In Rajasthan, the NDA has 16-19, according to My Axis, while INDIA has five to seven and others up to two seats. In Madhya Pradesh, NDA is predicted to sweep all 29 seats. In Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the NDA is predicted to sweep all seats. The picture is similar in Gujarat and Delhi.

For Punjab, the Congress is predicted to win seven to nine, NDA two to four and AAP up to two seats, while the Shiromani Akali Dal is predicted to get two to three seats. Of Haryana’s 10 seats, the NDA is likely to get six to eight seats and the rest may go to the INDIA bloc.

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Assam is predicted to have nine to 11 seats for the NDA and two to four for Congress.

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Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

First Published in Dawn

Jawed Naqvi

Jawed Naqvi

Javed Naqvi is a senior Indian journalist, correspondent and contributor for The India Observer. Also seen in: Dawn, Firstpost, The Star (Malaysia),, Inter Press Service, The Wire (India), ThePrint, National Herald India, New Age (Bangladesh),, Mainstream Weekly and more.

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