Hung House fears persist
Fears of a hung parliament persisted Wednesday after the fourth round of Indian elections, with exit polls saying the ruling coalition may fall short of a simple majority or would barely make it.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies could win 270 to 282 seats, predicted the STAR News exit poll after the day's balloting ended in 83 Lok Sabha constituencies across seven states.
A party or a group needs to win 272 seats in the lower house of parliament for a simple majority. The Lok Sabha has 545 seats but only 543 are contested.
STAR News predicted 167-179 seats for the Congress and its allies and 87-99 for other parties including leftists.
The channel said in the 83 seats that were decided Wednesday, the BJP-led alliance was likely to bag 53-57 seats, the Congress 12-16 and other parties 12-16.
Aajtak channel predicted less than a majority for the BJP-led combine -- not far different from the last exit poll conducted after the third round of elections on April 26 when balloting had been completed in half the country.
The BJP and its allies would win around 266 seats, said the channel, while the Congress and its allies would bag 175. Smaller parties were expected to grab 102 seats.
With Wednesday's ballot, voting has been completed in 361 of the 543 seats being contested across the country. The final round of polling will be held May 10.