Even as the exit polls gave a clear advantage to the BJP-led NDA, thereby indicating another five-year term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, parleys continued in the Opposition camp on Monday ahead of the counting of votes on May 23.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav met BSP supremo Mayawati at her residence in Lucknow. The duo had formed a coalition along with the RLD to take on the BJP. Details of what transpired between the two leaders were not immediately known.
After meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Sunday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will call on his West Bengal counterpart and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday, sources said.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief will meet Banerjee as part of his efforts to unite opposition parties ahead of the Lok Sabha election results on May 23.
"Naidu will hold a meeting with Mamata Banerjee at West Bengal secretariat this afternoon. Both will hold talks on the strategies of the 'mahagatbandhan' (grand alliance)," a highly placed source said.
During his interaction with Banerjee, Naidu is expected to brief her about his meetings with all political leaders in New Delhi over the weekend, the source said.
Naidu had a busy Sunday as he called on the Gandhis, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
On Saturday, he had met both Mayawati and Akhilesh. Dubbing the exit polls "gossip", Banerjee Sunday said she doesn't trust such surveys as the "game plan" is to use them for "manipulation" of EVMs.
Her remarks came after most exit polls forecast another term for PM Modi, with some predicting that the BJP-led NDA will get more than 300 seats, comfortably crossing the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha.
Put together, they have given NDA around 300 seats.
The Congress and allies, despite all the hopes they have been raising of a good showing, will end up close to the 125-seat mark, they predict.
The biggest surprise for the BJP will come in Bengal, where they are expected to end up with a double-digit tally -- 14 according to NDTV's poll of polls.
Odisha is set to witness a close fight with the BJP and Naveen Patnaik's BJD dividing the seats almost equally.
When it comes to UP, the poll of polls predicts that Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati joining hands will see them winning 29 seats. The Congress will retain the two pocket boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli is the expectation.
The BJP stands to lose 22 seats in India's most populous state according to these results when compared to 2014.
The biggest dampener for the Congress could be their showing in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where they formed governments recently.
The picture for Lok Sabha 2019 from these three states is not too rosy for India's grand old party if the exit poll results hold.
The other big state of Maharashtra is expected to head the BJP-Shiv Sena way with the alliance expected to win as many as 36 seats, according to the poll of polls.
In the south, the BJP is set for a comfortable victory in Karnataka, with the poll of polls projecting it to win 19 of the 28 seats. In Tamil Nadu, however, the UPA is likely to make significant gains and could finish with a tally of 27 seats while the NDA could be down to 11.
The BJP is projected to get only one seat in Telangana and none in Andhra Pradesh.
In Kerala, it could open its account by winning one seat.
(With PTI and Online Desk inputs)