Indian PM Modi secures 2nd term & stronger majority, exit polls show
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India’s ruling National Democratic Alliance headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party is on course to win the general election by a substantial margin, multiple exit polls indicate.
The world’s largest democracy, with nearly 900 million eligible voters, finished its complicated, weeks-long, multi-stage election process on Sunday to decide who sits in India’s 543-member lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha.
While the final results will not be officially announced until May 23, multiple exit polls show that Modi will most likely secure his second five-year term as prime minister after a strong performance by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in an epic clash with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Rahul Gandhi from the Indian National Congress (INC) party.
The India Today/Axis My India poll predicts the NDA will win between 339 and 369 seats, while the UPA will be able to secure between 77 to 108 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha election. Times Now telecast shows the NDA can secure as many as 306 seats, while the leftist coalition is on course to win 132 seats. Another prediction by CVoter-Republic shows 287 and 128 seats for the NDA and UPA respectively. CNN News18/Ipsos survey says that BJP-led alliance can expect to gain 336 seats.
The Nielsen/ABP news channel poll was the only one to show that the ruling coalition would fall short of a 272-seat majority, with 267 seats.
Modi wooed the public by presenting himself as an anti-corruption candidate with a pro-business outlook, who will safeguard the Hindu way of life and remain firm on protecting India’s sovereignty, as recent violence with neighboring Pakistan showed.
Gandhi, a secular, socialist party candidate, pledged to protect India’s minorities and improve life for the poor. The 48-year-old also rallied support from the public as an experienced politician from the Nehru-Gandhi family, which has occupied a prominent place in the politics of India since the country’s inception in 1947 when his great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, became Lok Sabha’s first prime minister.
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