Ab ki baar, 400 paar?

Friday, 31 May, 2024
PM Narendra Modi has reached Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari for meditation till June 1. (Photo courtesy: X@narendramodi)

- While the BJP-led NDA is confident of making it to the ultimate figure of 400 seats, the Opposition predicts 150-240 seats for the ruling party
- However, the public says, “Aayega to Modi hi” as various satta bazaars give an absolute majority to the BJP
- Voting ends on June 1 and results are on June 4. For live results, click on www.thesouthasiantimes.info

New Delhi: After a high-octane campaigning that started on April 19 for the seven-phased India general election came to an end this week before the last voting phase on June 1, both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Opposition INDIA bloc claimed they will cross the magic halfway mark of 272 with ease.

While the Opposition claims anywhere from 150-240 seats for the BJP alone, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led party believes it is going to get more than 300 seats on its own, with the NDA cruising towards the 400-mark.

In its latest estimate this week, the popular Phalodi satta bazaar in Rajasthan predicts less than 300 seats for the BJP (around 290) while the INDIA bloc tally is projected to reach 80-85 seats. The Mumbai satta bazaar has also predicted an easy victory for the BJP-led NDA. In Uttar Pradesh, it projects 64-66 seats for the BJP.

In the Taj City of Agra, the satta bazaar specialists seem to agree the wind is blowing in favor of the NDA and no one is betting in favor of the Congress party. Overall, this market in the financial capital predicts the BJP to win 295-305 seats and projects the Congress to win 55 to 65 Lok Sabha seats.

Meanwhile, PM Modi arrived in Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the country, to be at Vivekananda Rock Memorial for three days and meditate for 45 hours at the meditation hall of the memorial. The marathon campaign saw PM Modi address 206 rallies and give over 80 interviews to a cross-section of media organizations.

On the other hand, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also engaged with the public via election rallies, roadshows, public interactions and other campaign events. He addressed a total of 107 poll rallies along with public interaction programs during the 75-day period. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge held more than 100 public meetings, addressed more than 20 press conferences and gave over 50 interviews during the entire stretch of canvassing.

After a marathon campaign that saw scorching and record-breaking heat, voting in the last phase on June 1 is scheduled to take place in 57 parliamentary constituencies spanning seven states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. A total of 904 candidates are vying for victory in this phase.

The electoral battleground will see 13 seats up for grabs in both Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight in Bihar, six in Odisha, four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand, and one in Chandigarh. Furthermore, elections for 42 assembly seats in Odisha are also slated to take place. Vote counting is scheduled for June 4.

On the final day of campaigning, PM Modi held a rally in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath conducted rallies across various locations in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to bolster support for BJP candidates.

Rahul Gandhi rallied in support of Congress candidate in Balasore, Odisha, and subsequently engaged with farmers in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Punjab. Meanwhile, party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra conducted a roadshow in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. Leaders from both the BJP and the INDIA bloc have spared no effort in their campaigns to win over the voters.

The BJP-led NDA is aiming for a historic third consecutive term, while the Opposition INDIA bloc is striving to overturn its electoral setbacks of the past decade. However, poll experts don't see it coming to fruition.

“Ab ki baar, 400 paar”, coined by the prime minister, once again has struck the right chord with the public, while Congress' tall promises of 'paanch nyays and twenty-five guarantees' failed to strike the popular public perception, as the optics suggest. Overall, Congress and its allies have largely failed to yield magic in all three elections, and it is PM Modi's defining agenda that has reigned supreme over every poll pitch, experts say.

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