Exit polls predict clear majority for PM Modi-led NDA in Lok Sabha; show Cong-led UPA gaining but well behind

NEW DELHI: Five exit polls have projected a comfortable majority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led national coalition NDA despite attempts by opposition parties to unite in crucial states such as Uttar Pradesh.

A sixth predicted that the NDA would fall short of the majority mark by a few seats.

The NDA will win 336 of the 542 seats for which voting was held in seven phases ending today, an exit poll by CNN IBN-IPSOS has predicted. A survey by Republic TV-C Voter projects the BJP-led alliance to win 287 seats and a third by Republic - Jan Ki Baat predicted 305 seats. An exit poll by News Nation predicted 282-290 seats for the ruling alliance while the Times Now-VMR survey gave the NDA 306 seats. The ABP-AC Nielsen survey was the only one which stopped short of projecting a clear win for the NDA with 267 seats.

A party or alliance needs 272 seats to win a majority. In 2014, the NDA had won 336 Lok Sabha seats, with the BJP alone winning 282 seats in a sweep credited to a Narendra Modi wave.

Most exit polls predict that the Congress led by Rahul Gandhi will improve its performance over the all-time low tally of just 44 seats in 2014, and 58 for the alliance it leads, but nowhere close to stopping PM Modi's poll juggernaut. The six exit polls pegged the Congress-led UPA's seats at between 82 and 132.

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PTI