The last vote has been cast in the world’s biggest elections which will determine if PM Narendra Modi stays in power. (Representational image)
New Delhi: The last vote has been cast in the world’s biggest elections which will determine if PM Narendra Modi stays in power. The clock has struck six, the gruelling process to elect the 17th Lok Sabha has ended. Now, results of the world’s largest democratic exercise based on universal adult suffrage will trigger breaking headlines on May 23, 2019.
Till then, India will live with scores of exit polls pushed by television channels, newspapers and newsmagazines.
The seven-phased voting to elect 542 members of Lok Sabha began on April 11, 2019. Election to Vellore seat in Tamil Nadu was countermanded due to large amounts being seized for bribing the voter.
The extended election campaign apart from voter fatigue also drained the finances of candidates and their political parties. Through it was not confirmed by the government, a large chunk of illegal cash also circulated during the voting phases.
The BJP is banking on the popularity of PM Narendra Modi while the Congress hopes to romp home on the adverse impact of demonetisation, the much-debated goods and services tax (GST) and farm distress.
The results would provide balm to seasoned politicians and filmstars who campaigned for the candidates in blistering heat. There were regional parties like the Telugu Desam Party, YSR Congress, Biju Janata Dal and Telangana Rashtriya Samiti which appeared confident they could play a major role in the formation of the next government if BJP and Congress-led alliances fail to muster majority at the Centre.
Political cognoscenti say the biggest beneficiary of shift of votes from the BJP will be the Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi. But there are others who feel Modi’s popularity remains vast, especially among the country’s vast Hindu majority. There are many in the villages who credit him with programmes that helped the poor and cut through red tape and corruption.