The electoral process for the largest democracy in the world comes to a close on Sunday with the conclusion of the seventh and final phase of the 17th Lok Sabha elections. An estimated 900 million citizens would have given their mandate in thousands of polling booths across India, sealing the fates of aspirants to 542 seats (election to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat stands countermanded) in India's lower house of Parliament and going a long way to determining which coalition would form the next government. While what the 39 days of polling have led to will be revealed on counting day on May 23, before that, Republic Media Network has broadcast India's biggest exit poll - a mega double exit poll in collaboration with the country's top pollsters Jan Ki Baat and CVoter.
Both Jan Ki Baat and CVoter have conducted extensive on-ground surveys across the nation after each of the seven phases of the 2019 polls. They will present a prospective picture of how each of the coalitions, the NDA and the UPA and the nascent third front, as well as all the other parties in the country will do in every state and union territory and based on those numbers project whether or not the NDA will come back with a bigger mandate than what it had received in 2014 - something that the BJP believes that it would - or whether the UPA will have fought back to win majority seats, which would be a huge leap from the mere 44 the Congress had won five years ago.
In Kerala, the contest has been between the Left and Congress for the 20 Lok Sabha seats. Both Cvoter and Jan Ki Baat exit polls project that the trend would repeat where the major players remain to be the Congress and the Left parties, with the Congress-led UDF likely to be taking the lead.
In the 2014 elections, the UPA had won 12 seats while LDF had won 8.
CVoter Vote share:
UDF: 14 -16(14)
LDF: 4-5 (4)
BJP: 2 (2)
An important factor here is that Congress' Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Wayanad in Kerala. Another crucial factor to note is that the Congress stood with devotees against the Supreme Court's verdict in the Sabarimala case permitting women aged 10-50 years to offer prayers at the temple for the first time in centuries.
The elections were fought bitterly between the two major national parties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a second term in the Parliament, addressed a total of 144 rallies and roadshows highlighting his many welfare schemes. His Varanasi roadshow had a huge turnout leading many to ask if there is indeed a Modi wave in 2019. Rahul Gandhi addressed a total of 125 rallies making Congress' allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal against the Centre and its manifesto promise of NYAY scheme the key points in the events.
Several leaders across party lines were notified by the Election Commission for violating Model Code of Conduct. Azam Khan, Yogi Adityanath, Maneka Gandhi, Sadhvi Pragya, Mayawati being a few of them.
Republic Media Network set the agenda on several occasions in the poll season. From broadcasting Prime Minister's first and final interview for the Lok Sabha campaigning to conducting #MPsOnSale sting on sitting MPs who showed they were willing to compromise on the interest of those they are supposed to represent as well as Operation Karz Maafi sting that exposed the falsehood in the Congress' farm loan-waiver promise.
The vote counting for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be held on May 23. Join Arnab on Republic Media Network for non-stop coverage of the sensational conclusion to the general elections.