Modi's 'predicted win' in exit polls dominates India headlines

Mr Modi is likely to become India's next PM, exit polls say Mr Modi is likely to become India's next PM, exit polls say

Exit poll results are dominating headlines in Indian newspapers and websites on Tuesday.

The last phase of the world's biggest election was held on Monday and votes would be counted on 16 May.

India's TV news channels have given their predictions ahead of the official result. Most polls show that the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies are likely to form the next government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.

Analysts, however, point out that exit polls have often been wrong in the past.

According to the India Today-Cicero poll, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is expected to win between 261 and 283 seats out of the 543 parliament seats. Times Now-ORG predicts 249 seats for the opposition alliance.

A party or a coalition needs 272 MPs to form a government.

Newspapers are carrying Monday's exit poll results on their front pages.

The Times of India headline reads: "Exit polls point to Modi entry in Delhi".

"Ab ki baar Modi sarkar (It's time to elect Modi's government) - that's the unanimous verdict of several exit polls as far as the big picture is concerned, with all of them predicting either that the NDA would get a majority or would get very close to it," the paper says.

"Most exit polls give Modi+ majority," says a front-page headline in the Indian Express.

The paper adds that the ruling Congress is likely to suffer a major setback as per the exit polls results.

Hindustan Times

"The Congress was shown to be staring at its worst-ever performance, with pollsters forecasting a tally not even entering triple digits," the paper says.

"Exit Polls: Enter Modi," says the Hindustan Times.

The paper, however, points out that the exit polls have a notorious reputation for making wrong predictions.

"Exit polls - or survey of voters as they come out of polling booths to find out whom they voted - have a mixed track record, given the diversity of India's electorate, with predictions going awry at times. In 2004, pollsters had wrongly predicted an NDA win," the paper says.

Meanwhile, media are praising the Election Commission (EC) for the successful completion of the nine-phase general election.

Most newspapers are crediting the election body for organising the polls and ensuring a record voter turnout.

The overall voter turnout at 66.38% is above the previous high of 64.1% in the 1984-85 election, reports say.

"In large part, the credit must go to the EC, which deployed technology, diligence and imagination to draw voters to the polling booths," The Indian Express says.

The Times of India also praises the election body for "commendably" carrying out its duties over the years.

And finally, a police complaint has been filed against Ajay Rai, the Congress party's candidate against Mr Modi in Varanasi.

Mr Rai was seen wearing a badge of the Congress party's symbol on his shirt when he came to cast his vote.

"Using any party symbol within 100 metres of a polling station is a violation of election rules and regulations," the Hindustan Times reports..

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