LS polls come to close; most exit polls project majority for BJP-led NDA

NEW DELHI, May 19: Voting for the marathon seven-phased Lok Sabha (LS) elections came to a close on Sunday as nearly 64 percent turnout was recorded in the last phase of polls in 59 seats, which also featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi.
In the 2014 general elections, the highest ever voter turnout of 66.40 percent was recorded.
Over 8,000 candidates were in fray for 542 Lok Sabha seats across the country this year. Polling for the Vellore seat in Tamil Nadu was deferred due to excessive use of cash.
An average of 66.88 percent voters exercised their franchise in the last six phases, and the entire polls were spread over 38 days. Counting of votes will be taken up on 23 May.
Incidents of violence in West Bengal and clashes in Punjab were reported on Sunday in the last phase, which also saw EVM glitches and poll boycott at some booths. The fate of 918 candidates was decided in this phase.
In the last phase of the LS polls, over 10.01 crore voters were eligible to exercise their franchise.
Meanwhile, most exit polls forecast a majority for the ruling BJP-led NDA in the Lok Sabha polls with varying numbers as the seven-phase polling in the general elections ended on Sunday.
Two exit polls telecast by Times Now gave the NDA 296 and 306 seats, while they projected 126 and 132 for the Congress-led UPA.
The CVoter-Republic exit poll has forecast 287 and 128 seats for the NDA and UPA, respectively.
However, Neta-News X predicted that the National Democratic Alliance could fall short of the majority and win 242 seats. It gave the UPA 164 seats.
Elections to 542 seats of the Lok Sabha ended on Sunday. The majority mark is 272.
An exit poll on News 18 forecast that the NDA will win 292-312 seats while it gave 62-72 seats for the UPA.
Many exit polls predicted that the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh is likely to trump the BJP in the country’s politically most crucial state. The BJP had won 71 and its ally Apna Dal two of its 80 seats in 2014.
However, many news channels are yet to give a final figure.
The saffron alliance may not touch even the halfway mark of 40 in Uttar Pradesh this time, some exit polls said.
The counting of votes will take place on 23 May. (PTI)