Have Indian voters given five more years to PM Modi?

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Have Indian voters given five more years to PM Modi?

India is ready to welcome PM Modi back with the same love that it showed him in 2014.

By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)

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Published: Mon 20 May 2019, 9:18 PM

It's a wrap, then, as voting came to an end yesterday evening in the elections to decide who will helm the world's largest democracy for the next five years. And now it's time to indulge a little in India's favourite five-yearly pastime - the phenomenon called exit polls. Of course, it remains an exercise in futility because we'll never be sure of the outcome until the final numbers come out, but then a little distraction after a hectic six weeks of polling wouldn't hurt, or would it? So, the million-dollar question: Did India show the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies the door or has it rolled out the red carpet for him once again?
It's still early days, but by the looks of it, India is ready to welcome PM Modi back with the same (well, almost same) love that it showed him in 2014. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is being granted an absolute majority by most of the credible exit polls, with estimates ranging between 340 seats (Chanakya) and 287 seats (CVoter) for the NDA. A poll of polls (yes, there is such a thing) suggests the NDA will be home and dry with 296 seats. If you've just tuned in, it's time to be told that the magic number for ruling the 543-seat lower house of the Indian Parliament is 272, and the exit polls show that the NDA will cross that barrier quite comfortably.
But (how can there not be a but) there is the BJP's opposition who's alluding to exit polls being part of the propaganda, and holding on to hope that May 24 will set right the 'distorted' image being projected by biased media and their biased polls. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted an hour after the exit polls started showing a clean sweep for the NDA: "I don't trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip." If it is indeed gossip, then it'll die a natural death on May 24. Or else, it's five more years for Modi.

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