PM Modi Hat-Trick, Powered By South, Bengal, Odisha, Predict Exit Polls

An aggregate of 12 exit polls indicates that the NDA will get 365 seats, the INDIA bloc will get 146 seats.

New Delhi:

A historic third term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- that's what exit polls are predicting as the seventh and the last phase of Lok Sabha election concluded this evening. Three have carried the NDA across its dream score of 400 of 543 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP, too, has been placed far short of its 370-seat target by most. The INDIA bloc, exit polls predicted, will fall massively short of the 285 seats predicted by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge this evening.

An aggregate of 12 exit polls indicates that the NDA will get 365 seats, the INDIA bloc will get 146 seats. The BJP's individual score will be 317 seats and the Congress 61, up from the 52 seats it won in the last general election.

The maximum number of seats predicted for the NDA was by News 24-Today's Chanakya, which is predicting the ruling alliance will get 400 (plus/minus15) seats and the Opposition bloc 107 (plus/minus11) seats. Chanakya is also predicting 335(plus/minus15) seats for the BJP and 50(plus/minus11) seats for the Congress.

It is followed by the exit poll by India TV-CNX, which predicts the NDA win win 371-401 and the Opposition bloc will get 109-139 seats. The third is India Today-Axis My India, which predicts 361-401 seats for  the NDA and 131-166 for the Opposition.

The lowest score for the NDA comes from Dainik Bhaskar -- 281-350, and a corresponding higher score for the INDIA bloc, 145-201 seats.

Exit polls do not always get it right.

All exit polls, though, are unanimous about NDA's improved performance in the south and in Bengal.

In Andhra Pradesh, the alliance with Chandrababu Naidu paid off, they predict, with the NDA expected to get 18 of the state's 25 seats.

Karnataka is also expected to vote overwhelmingly for the BJP, despite its preference for the Congress at the state level. In Telangana too, the Congress may be unable to capitalise on its  assembly poll victory and the decimation of K Chandrasekhar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi, exit polls indicate. The BJP is likely to walk away with over half of the state's 17 seats.

The BJP is even expected to open its account Tamil Nadu, with at least two seats, and in Kerala with one, exit polls predict.

In Bengal, the BJP is expected to push up its 2019 score of 18 seats to 22, outstripping the state  powerhouse Trinamool Congress for the first time. Mamata Banerjee's party could get just 19 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats.

In neighbouring Odisha, the BJP can do even better, winning 15 of the state's 21 seats and confining Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal -- once the unquestioned choice of the people -- to the margins.

The BJP will also continue to dominate bastions like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand,  Himachal Pradesh, Assam and the national capital. Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party -- and ally Congress -- could again fail to win a single seat in Delhi, exit polls predict. The two parties, however, are expected to so well in Punjab, where they had a friendly contest. Of the state's 13 seats, the Congress is expected to win 5 and AAP, 4.

Some change is also expected in Bihar, which had given 39 of its 40 seats to the NDA in the last election. The Opposition alliance, spearheaded by Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal, is expected to prise off 7 seats. The Opposition could also pick up three of 10 seats in Haryana and  a few in Rajasthan -- states where they scored a duck in 2019.

In Maharashtra, the state that proved one of the hardest to read, the Opposition can scoop up more than one-third of the seats, exit polls indicate. 

The counting of votes will take place today.