NEW DELHI: The verdict is out. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA is set to form the government at the Centre for the third consecutive term. But what would usually be termed a clear victory, in turn, feels like a defeat for the BJP after the opposition INDIA bloc‘s stellar show.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will once again take oath for the third term as the NDA hovers around the 300 mark.But with the surprising mandate to INDIA bloc, the BJP has managed to get a mandate on only 240 seats for now. So as the BJP celebrates the victory and the INDIA bloc leaders hold press conferences with new confidence, the results seem to have turned the tables for the two faction.
After slogans like ‘abki baar Modi sarkar’ in 2014 and ‘fir ek baar Modi sarkar’ in 2019, the BJP election campaign this time revolved around ‘abki baar 400 paar’. With the warcry, PM Modi set a new target for the NDA of 400 seats tally. Just after conclusion of four phases of voting, several BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, claimed the BJP alone have already secured 270 of the 380 polled seats.
What added to the narrative were the exit poll predictions which pegged the NDA at 350-400 seats. Six exit polls projected 355 to 380 seats for the NDA. Three pollsters, including Axis-My India also predicted the NDA will touch the 400 mark, driving the markets to a record high.

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The exit polls positioned the opposition’s INDIA bloc between 125 and 165 seats. The leaders, as a matter of fact, completely dismissed the pollsters.
The final results, however, have actually revealed that the exit polls were far off the mark. The INDIA bloc has not only crossed the 200-seat mark but also made made massive gains when compared to the 2019 numbers. On the other hand, the BJP now relies on its allies to come back to power.
The BJP had won a majority of its own when it won power in 2014, ending an era of unstable coalition governments, and repeated the feat in 2019 by crossing the majority mark with 303 seats. This was the highest seat tally of a single party after 1991 elections when the Congress got 244 seats.
But this time, the BJP will have to depend on its allies, particularly N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) to form the government at the Centre.
On the other hand, the Opposition’s INDIA bloc eludes new energy after results, as it manages to cross the 230 mark.

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