Exit polls predict a hat-trick for NDA; Andhra assembly sees split verdict from two pollsters

Statutory warning: Only June 4 will give the true verdict.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi seen addressing an election rally. | (File Photo | PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi seen addressing an election rally. | (File Photo | PTI)

The exit polls for the 2024 Lok Sabha election have all predicted a massive mandate in favour of the ruling BJP and NDA. PM Modi responded to the numbers by thanking the voters for reposing faith in his government and stating that the opportunistic INDI alliance that opposed him failed to strike a chord with the voters.

On then to the numbers as shared by the various outlets:

UP, Bengal to see better BJP showing; Kerala, TN first seats: Exit Polls

Soon after the last phase of polling ended on Saturday, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge had put on a brave face predicting that the INDIA bloc would win over 295 seats. But if the exit polls are to be believed those dreams are set to be shattered.

Usually, who wins Uttar Pradesh wins India. In 2019, the NDA had won 64 of the 80 seats in the state. This time, the polls predict that the NDA will boost its tally to almost 70 seats.

In West Bengal, the BJP is set to surpass the Trinamool Congress as the single largest party. While it bagged 18 seats in the state in 2019, this time it's set to take its tally past 20. On the other hand, the TMC is predicted to get fewer than 20 seats.

The BJP is expected to open its account in Tamil Nadu and Kerala where it drew a blank last time. Elsewhere in the south, Karnataka is set to repose its faith in the BJP despite having voted for the Congress in the assembly polls.

The states where the NDA is predicted to get a slightly lower tally than last time include Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan. But the NDA remains the single largest alliance in all these states.

Andhra Pradesh: Jagan or Chandrababu Naidu?

Meanwhile, the People's Pulse predicted a majority for TDP-led NDA alliance in the Andhra Pradesh assembly polls.

The alliance is set to win a comfortable majority of the 175 seats in the assembly, according to them.

The Chanakya poll, though, predicted CM Jagan Reddy's YSRCP returning to power.

These predictions come after voting in the Lok Sabha election, which was India's second longest and spread over 44 days from April 19 to June 1, came to an end on Saturday. Only our inaugural parliamentary election that lasted for over four months was longer.

The seven-phase election had 969 million-odd eligible voters. The polling percentages though have been lower than in 2019 with factors such as the heat and lack of any overarching narrative or resentment being cited as reasons.

About Rs 1 lakh crore was said to have been spent making it one of the most expensive elections ever in the world, rivalling the money spent in the combined 2020 US elections.

That one stat highlighted how money has been flowing over and above the spending limits of Rs 75-95 lakh for each candidate.

These limits have been raised at least 30X times from the Rs 25,000 allowed per candidate during the first general election in 1951-52 to little avail. According to an estimate in 2019, nearly Rs 100 crore was spent per Lok Sabha constituency! The math remains to be done before we know how much higher it has been in 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had over 206 rallies/outreach programmes in this election campaign, which was way more than his nearly 145 such engagements five years ago. He also gave 80 interviews to the media before heading for his 45-hour-long meditation on Kanyakumari's Vivekananda rock.

On the other side, from the Congress, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were involved in 107 and 108 public outreach programmes respectively.

The election saw officials from the Election Commission travel many kilometres across the sea to bring EVMs in remote corners of Lakshadweep and set up a lone booth in Banej, an isolated village in Gujarat's Gir Somnath district that has a lone voter in a temple priest.

Key takeaways from the campaign have been the fact that it has been a relatively silent election.

Prime Minister Modi has not towered like he did in the 2014 and 2019 elections, In fact, many including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, have criticised him for being divisive in his campaign speeches.

Many observers have said how the election outcomes might revolve around the issues that matter with local problems and caste permutations being seen as important.

The INDIA bloc campaign seemingly came to life after the first phase with the Prime Minister himself talking up his opponent's chances. As for the 'Ab ki baar 400 paar' slogan, it led to the opposition countering it with 'Samvidhan khatre main hai' (the Constitution is in danger).

But now we have the exit polls which are predicting an NDA sweep. Will June 4 prove them right? Join us for the coverage when the actual results come in to find out.

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The New Indian Express