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Opinion polls predict Modi’s party poised for third term victory

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INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will secure a clear majority in general elections this summer, a win that will ensure a comfortable third term for Modi, according to an opinion poll published last Thursday (8).

Findings from the “Mood of the Nation Poll”, a survey by private media group India Today, showed that voters continue to see Modi as a popular leader who has accelerated growth and improved foreign ties.

The poll of 35,801 respondents conducted across India between December 15 and January 28 found Modi’s BJP and its allies could win 335 of the 543 directly elected seats in the lower house of parliament.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance coalition won more than 350 seats in the previous election in 2019.

But top BJP leaders have proclaimed that they are looking beyond 400 seats, making it the most decisive victory ever.

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The survey showed that INDIA, a political alliance of the main opposition Congress and over two dozen regional parties, could secure 166 seats.

Regional parties could be on a winning streak in southern Indian states where the BJP could fail to win many seats, it showed.

However, polls and surveys in India have a mixed record, with many often getting election results in the world’s biggest democracy wrong.

India’s economy is now the fifth-largest in the world, from the tenth-largest when Modi first took office a decade ago, and the fastest expanding among major nations. Modi swept to power in 2014, and he has consolidated his hold since with a focus on boosting infrastructure.

The survey also found that 42 per cent of respondents admired Modi this year for his decision to inaugurate a grand temple to Lord Ram in Ayodhya, built on the site of a centuries-old mosque razed by hardline Hindus in 1992.

At least 19 per cent of the respondents credited Modi for raising India’s global stature.

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