Most exit polls Sunday forecast another term for Prime Minister NarendraModi, with some of them projecting that BJP-led NDA will get more than 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the LokSabha.
However, a number of exit polls predicted big losses for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, where it had won 71 seats in 2014, but the saffron party appeared to make major gains in other states.
Times Now telecast two exit polls giving the NDA 296 and 306 seats, while projecting 126 and 132 for the Congress-led UPA.
The CVoter-Republic exit poll has forecast 287 and 128 seats for the NDA and UPA respectively.
However, ABP News-Nielsen and Neta-NewsX predicted that the ruling alliance may fall short of a majority as they respectively gave it 267 and 242 seats. ABP News and NewsX predicted 127 and 164 seats respectively for the UPA.
Elections to 542 seats of the LokSabha ended Sunday. The Election Commission has deferred election for Vellore in Tamil Nadu over allegations of misuse of money power.
The counting of votes is slated for May 23.
The CNN News18-Ipsos exit poll said the BJP-led alliance can win a whopping 336 seats with the saffron party getting a majority on its own. It projected only 46 seats for the Congress and 82 for its allies.
In 2014, the NDA had won 336 seats and the Congress 44. The BJP had notched up its maiden majority by bagging 282 seats.
Several exit polls predicted that the SP-BSP alliance is likely to trump the BJP in the country’s politically most crucial state Uttar Pradesh. The BJP had won 71 and its ally Apna Dal two of its 80 seats in 2014.
The CVoter-Republic forecast gave the grand alliance in UP 40 seats against 38 for the NDA, while the Jan Ki Baat said the NDA may win 46-57 seats against 15-29 of the SP-BSP combine.
ABP News predicted a huge loss for the BJP in the state, saying it may win only 22 seats while the opposition alliance may emerge victorious in 56 constituencies.
In West Bengal, CVoter-Republic and ABP said the BJP may win 11 and 16 (of the 42 seats) respectively, a big improvement on its tally of two in 2014.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremoMamata Banerjee dismissed the exit polls as a “gossip” and a gameplan to “replace” EVMs.
“I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together,” she tweeted.
News channel ABP said the BJP in Odisha may win nine seats. It had won only one in 2014.
Exit polls in the country have had mixed record on accuracy and quite often their projections have been way off the actual results.
However, Congress ally and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, said every single exit poll cannot be wrong. “Time to switch off the TV, log out of social media & wait to see if the world is still spinning on its axis on the 23rd (May),” he tweeted. Some social media users pointed out that election results in Australia proved most psephologists and news polls wrong.