Narendra Modi’s BJP-Led Alliance Projected for Emphatic Victory in Indian General Election Raises Questions on Election Commission of India ?

TV exit polls have suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance is poised to secure a resounding majority in the general election, surpassing initial expectations. These exit polls indicate that the right-wing party is likely to outperform most analysts’ predictions.

A compilation of six exit polls forecasts that the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could secure between 355 and 380 seats in the 543-member lower house of parliament, where a simple majority requires 272 seats. This projected outcome, which surpasses the NDA’s 2019 victory of 353 seats, is anticipated to invigorate financial markets upon their reopening.

The six exit polls, including those conducted by Republic Bharat-P Marq, India News-D-Dyanamics, Republic Bharat-Matrize, Dainik Bhaskar, News Nation, and Jan Ki Baat, consistently indicate a clear majority for the BJP-led NDA, with seat projections ranging from 353 to 392. Additionally, an exit poll by CNN-News18 predicts the BJP and its coalition allies to secure 355 seats.

Exit polls in India have historically had a mixed track record, often failing to accurately predict outcomes due to the country’s vast diversity and complexities. However, these latest projections suggest a significant victory for the ruling alliance.

The opposition has dismissed the exit polls, labeling them as biased and predetermined. Ahead of the exit poll publications, there were accusations of media bias in favor of Modi’s government, which the opposition claims has influenced the polling outcomes. Despite the skepticism from opposition parties, the BJP remains confident in its projected victory.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised regarding the credibility of the Election Commission of India (ECI) following allegations of discrepancies in voting data. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc, highlighting concerns over delays in releasing final voting percentages for the first two phases of the Lok Sabha polls. Kharge questioned the sudden increases in projected voter turnout and urged opposition leaders to safeguard democracy and the independence of the ECI.

The delay in revealing voter turnout data by the EC for the initial phases of the election has drawn criticism from opposition figures, including Pawan Khera, Chairman of the All India Congress Committee’s media and publicity department. Khera emphasized the need for transparency and expressed concerns over the EC’s handling of the polling percentages.

With nearly one billion eligible voters participating in the seven-phase election, all eyes are now on the Election Commission as it prepares to count votes on June 4th, with results expected the same day. Prime Minister Modi, while refraining from direct reference to the exit polls, expressed confidence in the electorate’s support for the NDA government’s reelection bid.

If the projections hold true, a victory for Modi would mark him as only the second prime minister, after Jawaharlal Nehru, to secure three consecutive terms in office. As the anticipation builds, the outcome of the election will undoubtedly shape the political landscape of India for years to come.

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