UPA, NDA in close race, say exit polls (Lead)May 13th, 2009 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) will end up marginally ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha elections, exit polls Wednesday night said.
According to a survey by India TV, the UPA would be the single largest coalition with 195-201 seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha while the NDA was expected to win 189-195 seats.
It gave the Third Front 113-121 seats, giving its constituents a huge say in government formation.
The UPA tally could go up to 227-237 if the seats bagged by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Samajwadi Party, estranged alllies of the Congress, were also to be included, India TV said after surveying 530 parliamentary seats.
According to the Star News-Nielsen exit poll, the UPA was likely to bag 199 seats and the NDA 191 seats. The Congress itself was projected to win 155 seats and the BJP 153. The Third Front could settle with 104 seats.
Headlines Today television channel gave the Congress and its allies 191 seats against 180 to the BJP and its allies.
The Left parties, which provided support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government until July last year, were projected to get 38 seats, a huge fall from the earlier tally of 60-plus.
The remaini*ng seats were credited to smaller and regional parties including the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh, headed by Mayawati.
The Times of India projection gave the UPA 199 seats with the Congress bagging 154 seats. The NDA was poised to get 183 seats, and the BJP alone 142.
The Congress had defeated the BJP in the last general elections in 2004 and then cobbled the UPA with the support of the Left.
The exit polls were way off the mark in the 2004 elections. Nearly all of them predicted a NDA victory by a wide margin. But the BJP-led grouping lost to a rejuvenated Congress.
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