New Delhi: Narendra Modi's BJP will be the single largest party and is set to get 195 seats in the 16th Lok Sabha, its best showing ever in its 34-year history. Rahul Gandhi's Congress is likely to end up with 106, its worst performance. (NDTV Opinion Poll: UP with Modi, big dent for Mulayam)
The NDTV opinion poll, however, also shows that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance or NDA will fall short of majority at 229 seats and will have to win more friends to reach the 272 majority mark in the 545-member Lok Sabha for which elections will be held next month.
In 1984, the BJP had won two seats. Its best performance so far was 182 in 1998 and then 1999. It will better that this year riding on a solid performance in Uttar Pradesh where it looks set to bag 40 of the state's 80 seats. It is also set to strike gold in big states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and in Maharashtra with ally Shiv Sena.
Punjab will return eight Congress MPs and five from the BJP-Akali Dal combine, the opinion poll shows, exactly the same as last time.
While the Seemandhra part of Andhra Pradesh is expected to vote overwhelmingly in favour of Jagan Mohan Reddy of the YSR Congress, the expected BJP-Telugu Desam team is set to grab nine seats here too.
The Congress, at its lowest, had 114 seats in 1999. This year, the opinion poll shows, it will end up with only 106, a very sheer drop from its 2009 tally of 201. The alliance it leads, the UPA, is likely to get 126 seats only.
That disastrous show will be scripted by poor performances in not only the states where it is in direct contest with the BJP, but also those like Odisha, which continues its romance with the Biju Janata Dal. Naveen Patnaik's BJD is likely to take 17 of Odisha's 21 seats, the Congress will get only three and Narendra Modi's packed rallies are likely to convert into one seat for the BJP. (NDTV Opinion Poll: Naveen Patnaik even stronger in Odisha)
In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress' Telangana gamble seems to have boomeranged. The Congress expected to be punished in the Seemandhra region, which will form the residuary state, for the hasty bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. And it will be. (NDTV Opinion Poll: Jagan, a very big deal)
But the Telangana region too looks set to reject the Congress and reward K Chandrasekhar Rao of the TRS, who has so far refused to partner the Congress. (NDTV Opinion Poll: Telangana firmly on KCR's side)
In Kerala, the Congress-led UDF, with 13, will still be ahead of the Left, but it will take a hit of three seats.
In the eight states that NDTV looks at today, Assam gives the Congress the only reason to smile. It is likely to sweep the state with its expected partner AUDF. (Assam, Punjab rare bright spots for Congress)
The opinion poll shows that 185 seats in the new Lok Sabha will be split between regional and small parties and the Left. This includes Arvind Kejriwal's year-old Aam Aadmi Party, which is ahead in Delhi, but has not extended its area of influence in other states.
It is from these 185 seats that the BJP will look for allies to make up the numbers it needs to form government. Among them are Tamil Nadu's J Jayalalithaa and West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee, both likely to post big wins in their states.
Then there are parties like the Samajwadi Party and BSP in UP, staring at diminished returns in these elections, which translates to less bargaining power.