Indian PM Modi headed for landslide victory in third term: TV exit poll

Indian PM Modi headed for landslide victory in third term: TV exit poll

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is headed for a landslide victory for a third consecutive term, a television exit poll showed on Saturday after six weeks of nationwide polling.

The results will be formally announced on Tuesday, but analysts have considered Modi's victory a foregone conclusion, in part because of his aggressive approach to India's majority faith.

Exit polls showed he was on track to win, and Modi himself is confident he will win. He said he was confident “the people of India have voted in record numbers” to re-elect his government.

“They have seen our track record and the way our work has brought qualitative change in the lives of the poor, the marginalised and the Dalits,” he said on the social media platform X.

An exit poll by broadcaster CNN-News18 projected Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its coalition partners would win 355 seats, well above the 272 needed for a majority in the lower house.

However, such forecasts have in the past proven unreliable in gauging public sentiment in a country with nearly a billion eligible voters.

Many who voted in Modi's constituency, Varanasi, on Saturday were excited by the prospect of his return to power.

“I have voted for the growth and development of my country,” Varanasi resident Brijesh Taksali told AFP outside a polling station, voting to re-elect the 73-year-old prime minister.

Varanasi is the spiritual capital of Hinduism, where devotees from all over the country come to cremate their dead loved ones on the banks of River Ganges.

It was one of the last cities to vote in India's long election, and where public support for Modi's close ties between religion and politics was most intense.

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