NDA still short of majority: Exit polls
NDA could end up short of simple majority, indicate Aaj Tak and Sahara exit polls.
The ruling NDA could end up just short of an absolute majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha, according to exit polls at the end of the third phase of polling on Wednesday.
Early seat projections by Aaj Tak and Sahara TV channels on the basis of today's polling gave 268 and 263 seats respectively to NDA, while a third channel Star News gave it an absolute majority of 270-282.
Aaj Tak, which interviewed 52,000 voters in 19,000 booths, gave Congress and allies 175 and 'others' 100. The Sahara-DRS poll gave Congress and allies 181 and other parties 88.
The poll on Star News channel conducted by C-Voter projected 167-179 to Congress and its allies and 87-99 to 'others'.
Early seat projections by Zee-Taleem predicted 267 seats for NDA, 187 for Congress and its allies and 89 for others.
In the polling that was held for 83 seats in seven states, the exit polls, which covered the Hindi belt states and interviewed up to 40,000 voters, gave the NDA and its allies 44 seats, Congress and its partners 14 and 20 to 'others'.
In Madhya Pradesh, where elections were held for 12 of the 29 seats, the Zee survey predicted nine seats for BJP and three to Congress while the Sahara poll gave the saffron combine 10 and Congress two seats respectively.
According to Star News, BJP would win in 10 seats while Congress would get two seats in MP.
In Bihar, where polling was completed today in all the 40 seats, the BJP-JD(U) combine appeared to be getting 24 seats, while the RJD-Congress was expected to get 16 seats, the Sahara survey said. This means a loss of six seats for NDA as compared to 1999.
The Zee survey projected 24 seats for NDA, giving 11 to the Laloo-led combine and five to others while Star news gave 24 to NDA, 14 to Cong-RJD and two to others.
Aaj Tak predicted 27 seats for NDA, 12 for Cong-RJD and one to others.
In Uttar Pradesh, where elections have been held in 62 out of 80 seats, Zee predicted that BJP would win 22, Congress eight, Samajwadi Party 17, BSP 13 and others one, while Sahara gave the BJP 20, Congress eight and others, including SP and BSP 34.
In Uttar Pradesh, Aaj Tak gave 22 seats to BJP, six to Congress, 21 to SP and 12 to BSP while Star News predicted 26 for BJP, 10 for Congress, 15 for SP, 10 for BSP and one for others.
A Zee exit poll in Lucknow, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's constituency, said BJP had polled 55 per cent of the votes cast, Congress-backed Ram Jethmalani 12 per cent, SP 18 per cent and others two per cent.
In Rajasthan, where polling was held for all the 25 seats, Zee predicted status quo with BJP and Congress getting 16 and nine seats respectively as in the dissolved House.
The Sahara-DRS poll, however, predicted that BJP would consolidate its position and get 20 seats while the Congress would win in five seats. Aaj Tak and Star News also made same projection for Rajasthan.
Comparing the exit polls at the end of the three rounds, the surveys said the NDA had gained lost ground. For the 361 seats where elections have been held so far, Zee gave the NDA 180 seats, Congress and allies 114 and others 66.
Sahara gave the BJP-led combine 200 seats, Congress 117 and others 44 while Aaj Tak gave 195 to NDA, 115 to Congress and 51 to others.
Polling in the final phase on May 10 will cover the remaining 182 constituencies in 16 states and UTs.
In its predictions for the 83 seats that went to polls in the third phase today in seven states, the poll on Star News gave NDA 53-59, Congress and allies 12-16 and other parties 12-16.
Sahara poll projected 47 seats for NDA, 16 for Congress and allies and 20 for others.