Election results in India will be out this Tuesday; see what the research says

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to equal his record of three consecutive terms this Tuesday (4), when the 642 million votes of the world’s biggest election are counted.

Exit polls have predicted a landslide victory for Modi, and if confirmed – results are often inaccurate in India – Modi’s Hindu nationalists will have won a bitter campaign in which the parties traded accusations of religious bias and threatened swaths of the population.

Investors are already excited by the prospect of another term for Modi, hoping he will deliver more years of strong economic growth and pro-business reforms for India, while opponents and critics fear a potential two-thirds majority in parliament could lead to major changes to the constitution.

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Nearly a billion people were eligible to vote in the seven-phase, seven-week-long election, which began on April 19 and ended on June 1, held in scorching heat, with temperatures reaching nearly 50 degrees Celsius in some areas.

Still, more than 66% of registered voters went to the polls, just one percentage point lower than the last election in 2019, allaying fears that voters might lose interest in the contest, thinking Modi’s victory was already assured.

Modi, 73, first swept to power in 2014 promising development and change and is seeking to become the second prime minister after India’s independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru to win three consecutive terms.

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He began his campaign by showcasing his record in power such as economic growth, social welfare policies, national pride, Hindu nationalism and his personal commitment to fulfilling the promises which he called the “Modi Guarantee”.

However, he changed his tune after a low turnout in the first phase and accused the opposition, particularly the Congress party, which leads a coalition of two dozen groups, of favoring India’s 200 million Muslims — a turn that analysts say made the campaign raw and divisive.

He said the move may be aimed at mobilising the Hindu nationalist base of Modi’s Indian People’s Party (BJP) in the election. Modi defended himself against criticism that he was stoking divisions between Hindus and Muslims to win votes, saying he was merely criticising the opposition’s campaign.

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Opposition is hopeful

The opposition coalition, led by Rahul Gandhi’s Congress party, denied that it favours Muslims in the Hindu-majority country and said Modi, if returned to power, would destroy the constitution and end affirmative action plans that benefit the so-called “backward classes”. The BJP rejected these charges.

The opposition coalition also promised more social welfare measures and handouts, with surveys saying unemployment, inflation and rural hardship were voters’ main concerns.

Opinion polls published by television stations after voting ended on Saturday projected that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance could win a two-thirds majority in the 543-member lower house of parliament.

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Several surveys have predicted that only the BJP could win more seats than the 303 seats it won in 2019.

Opposition parties have downplayed the surveys, saying they are unscientific and do not reflect reality.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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