- BJP and allies to get 302 of 543 seats, say exit polls
- Congress and allies at 122, non-aligned parties at 118, polls show
- Voting for 7-phase elections ended on Sunday, results on May 23
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP will win almost as many seats as it did in 2014 and form a government comfortably, exit polls predicted on Sunday at the end of the national election. The poll of polls, an aggregate of exit polls, gives the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 302 of 543 seats and the Congress and its allies 122.
In Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress will get 26 of 42 seats and the BJP will move to double digits at 14 - from two the last time -- predict exit polls.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will be neck and neck with the BJP, the poll of polls says. That is a huge improvement for the BJP, which won just one of the state's 21 seats in 2014.
The gains in the two states will offset what the BJP is predicted to lose in Uttar Pradesh, where it scooped 71 of 80 seats in 2014. The poll of polls predicts 49 seats for the BJP. The Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav combination is given 29 seats while the Congress is set to do no better than it did in 2014 - two seats, if exit polls prove correct.
The poll of polls also indicates that the Congress will crash in the three big heartland states it won in December, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
"The exit polls results are according to our expectations," BJP national vice president Vinay Sahasrabudhe told NDTV. "The grand alliance experiment has failed. The BSP and SP could not take our votes. The main opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh are divided thin, whose benefits the BJP got."
Congress leader Ashwini Kumar said: "I hope for my party's sake these exit polls aren't true."
Voting in one of India's most acrimonious elections in decades ended on Sunday after seven rounds held over a month-and-a-half.
The results will be declared on Thursday, May 23.
A health warning - exit polls often get it wrong.
In 2014, the poll of exit polls - an aggregate of various exit polls - gave the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 288 of the 545 seats in parliament and the Congress-led UPA 102.
The gap turned out to be far wider. The NDA won 336 seats while the UPA, which had been in power for two straight terms, was reduced to 59.
Among the seats that voted on Sunday was PM Modi's Varanasi, which he is expected to easily retain.
The BJP campaigned aggressively on the nationalism pitch and played up the recent Balakot air strikes against Pakistan as an example of PM Modi's strong leadership. The opposition, led by the Congress party and its leader, Rahul Gandhi, tried to steer the narrative towards the economy, farmer distress and jobs.
The Prime Minister held 142 rallies across the country, sometimes five a day.
The Congress campaigned intensely in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
Rahul Gandhi, 48, attacked the PM over alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and over the plight of farmers and lack of jobs.