| Welcome to Global Village Space

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Indian opposition beats predictions in early vote count

The Narendra Modi-led NDA bloc appears to have secured a majority in the parliamentary election, but early results suggest a close race

The alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is heading for a clear majority in the 543-member lower house of parliament of India, with around half of votes counted in the general election.

However, the INDIA bloc – a coalition of dozens of opposition parties led by the country’s oldest party, the Indian National Congress – has crossed the 200-seat mark, beating exit poll predictions from the weekend.

Read more: #Boycottbollywood trends in India following celebrities support for Rafah

A coalition needs at least 272 out of 543 Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) seats to form a government.

The marathon six-week election ended on June 1, and the votes are being counted throughout Tuesday – a process carried out in each constituency.

First, postal ballots are counted, followed by Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Counting is carried out under the supervision of officers nominated by the Election Commission of India for each seat, in the presence of the candidates.

Read more: Google to Manufacture Pixel Smartphones and Drones in India

More than 642 million citizens took part in the election to choose a government for the next five years, in what has been described as the largest democratic exercise in world history.

The Indian stock market took a downturn on Tuesday morning after a rally the previous day – as early vote counting suggested the BJP-led alliance was unlikely to win a decisive majority. The rupee also slid as the election results triggered broad-based dollar demand, Reuters noted in a report.

Exit polls had projected a landslide win for Modi’s NDA, with most suggesting it could secure between 360 and 380 seats – short of the 400-seat target that the bloc had set for itself.

The Indian National Congress party dismissed the exit polls on Monday, using people to wait for the count. Rahul Gandhi, the de-facto leader of Congress, claimed the opposition bloc would win 295 seats.