Two days to go for the counting of votes for the national election, BJP chief Amit Shah is touching base with the allies in the National Democratic Alliance, with a special dinner tonight. The dinner comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Shah met the central ministers at the BJP headquarters in Delhi this evening.
The dinner at Delhi's Ashoka Hotel - hosted by Amit Shah -- is also expected to double up as a strategy session, even though Sunday's exit polls predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP.
The dinner is being attended by most NDA leaders, many of whom arrived at the national capital this morning.
The guest list includes the BJP's Punjab ally, Akali leader Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal; Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag Paswan; AIADMK's E Palaniswamy and O Pannerselvam, Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel and Ramdas Athawale.
Twelve of 14 exit polls predicted that the NDA will get full majority with seats ranging from 282 to 365. An aggregate of exit polls predicted the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will win 302 seats and the Congress and its allies 122.
A party or an alliance needs 271 seats to form the government, as the elections were held on 542 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.
After the sixth phase of election, the BJP chief had claimed that the party crossed the 300-seat mark.
But on Friday, before even the seventh phase of polls, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held what was billed as his first press conference, it was seen as a sign of nervousness. PM Modi has not held a press conference during his five years in office and the few interviews he gave have been called soft and scripted by critics.
In 2014, the BJP had crossed the majority mark on its own - a first for a political party in three decades. But this time, many assumed that the party might need the help of allies to cross the majority mark after Amit Shah made it a point to close ranks with even fractious allies like Shiv Sena and Nitish Kumar before the elections.
Two of the exit polls have also predicted that the NDA might fall a few seats short of majority.
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