Narendra Modi is set to become India’s next Prime Minister…
NEW DELHI : The BJP’s Narendra Modi is set to become India’s next Prime Minister, exit polls showed on Monday after voting ended for the mammoth general election that began on April 7.
According to the exit polls, the BJP and its allies are set to sweep to a parliamentary majority. An average of the polls predicts 279 seats for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, well past the 272-mark required for any party to take power.
The polls gave an average of just 108 seats to the Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, which will be the party’s worst-ever performance. Voters are expected to punish the party, which has been in power for 10 years, for massive corruption scandals, inflation and a sagging economy.
Indian elections are notoriously hard to call and pre-election opinion polls and post-voting exit polls both have a patchy record. Polls in 2004 and 2009 overestimated the BJP-led coalition’s seat share but the Congress went on to form coalition governments both times.
If Mr Modi falls short of a majority when the results come in on Friday, he will need to strike a coalition deal with regional parties, including those who have targeted him repeatedly during the bitter election campaign.
Yesterday, Mr Modi seemed to reach out to potential allies with his blog. “”Let’s place people over politics, hope over despair, healing over hurting, inclusion over exclusion and development over divisiveness. It is natural for the spirit of bi-partisanship to get temporarily lost in the midst of an election campaign but now is the time to resurrect it,” he said.
The BJP and Mr Modi have based their campaign on the promise to kickstart the economy and create jobs. But much depends on the BJP winning enough seats to form a stable government that will allow him to push through his promised reforms.