Polls show Narendra Modi is more likely to win a landslide victory

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party is ready to win a decisive majority in India's elections for the third consecutive time, several post-election polls showed, continuing Modi's decade-long tenure on the helm of the world's fastest-growing economy.

Polls have shown that his Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance will win many more seats than the 272 needed for a majority in India's 543-seat lower house. Official election results shall be released on June 4.

Modi declared the BJP-led alliance the winner based on exit poll results and said the ruling party's track record was well received by voters, especially the poor.

“I can say with confidence that the people of India have voted in record numbers to re-elect the NDA government,” he said in a post on social media platform X. He also criticized the opposition alliance's campaign for failing to offer a vision for the country.

The results are more likely to boost Indian financial markets, which have been volatile in recent weeks amid speculation that the BJP and its allies may not meet Modi's ambitious goal of winning 400 seats. In 2019, the BJP won 303 seats alone and around 351 with its allies.

Read more: India's popular, polarizing leader looks back on a millennial legacy

VK Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services, predicted a recovery in markets on Monday and said exit polls had eased a few of the election jitters that had weighed on sentiment in May.

“This is a spur for the bulls, who will trigger a big rally in the market on Monday,” he said. Investors may even likely be encouraged by data released on Friday showing that the economy grew faster than expected at 8.2% within the fiscal yr ended March.

Although the outcomes of post-election polls in Indian elections are mixed, they’ve broadly appropriately predicted the outcomes of the 2019 and 2014 general elections.

Women line up to cast their votes in the seventh and final phase of national elections in Varanasi, India, Saturday, June 1, 2024. Indians began voting Saturday in the final round of a six-week national election that is a referendum on Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 10-year term in office. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
Women line as much as forged their vote within the seventh and final phase of national elections in Varanasi, India, Saturday, June 1, 2024. Indians began voting on Saturday in the ultimate round of a six-week national election. (Rajesh Kumar Singh/Associated Press)

The polling results were released after the last of India's nearly one billion registered voters forged their ballots. The grueling election lasted six weeks and was spread over seven phases, starting on April 19.

The BJP's strategy of focusing its campaign on the hugely popular Modi appears to have paid off, if the polls are correct. Modi, the party's star campaigner, has been travelling everywhere in the country, holding roadshows and addressing large crowds. The party even titled its manifesto “Modi's Guarantee”.

A victory for Modi can be historic: since Jawaharlal Nehru, who ruled India for 17 years after independence, no prime minister has managed to stay in power for 3 consecutive terms.

Post-election polls showed the BJP making gains in southern India, where Modi campaigned heavily to win over voters traditionally skeptical of the ruling party's Hindu nationalist policies. The polls also showed the BJP retaining much of its monopoly power within the northern Hindi-speaking states.

The victory also signals additional difficulties for the country's opposition, particularly the Indian National Congress, the biggest party within the opposition alliance. The failure of an try to weaken the BJP's mandate in a 3rd consecutive national election could fuel fears that the Congress party needs an ideological restructuring or a change in leadership.

A serious victory for the ruling party would open the door to pushing through decisive recent policies and further boost Modi's global standing. The BJP promised in its election manifesto to take a position more in infrastructure, boost manufacturing and proceed its popular social programs.

If the BJP-led alliance wins two-thirds of the seats, 363, within the lower house of Parliament – as some polls have predicted – the party may even be a step closer to changing the structure. Most changes would require a two-thirds majority in each the upper and lower houses of Parliament. The BJP-led alliance currently has about 50 percent of the seats within the upper house.

During the election campaign, opposition parties warned voters that the BJP government would use its two-thirds majority to weaken the policy of positive discrimination against people from lower castes. BJP officials have repeatedly denied these allegations.

With support from Ruchi Bhatia, Preeti Soni, Anup Roy and Sudhi Ranjan Sen.

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