India's general election has aroused interest all over the world. A battery of reporters from the West has descended on the sub-continent to cover the election. This is the biggest general election in the world and involves almost one billion voters. The majority of voters are Hindus, and the BJP has skillfully played the Hindu card. The general election was over at 5 pm on 19 May 2019, and the ban on reporting results of exit polls was over as well. The BBC has reported that of the tens of opinion polls four of the major exit polls have reported a great victory for the BJP led -National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Most of the polls have predicted a win for Modi with anywhere from 280 to 315 seats. This figure is twice of the Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi. There are 542 seats in the lower house of parliament (Lok Sabha).

Modi and election

Modi had stormed to victory in the 2014 election, and for the first time after three decades, a single party won a majority on its own strength. The BJP led by Narendra Modi had won 282 seats and in the process decimated the Congress party which won just 44 seats.

During the last election, Modi had promised "ache din( Good times ahead) and "development for all." Unfortunately, his performance on job creation was poor and presently as per government figures, India has the highest unemployment rate in 30 years.

Two initiatives of Modi like demonetization and GST ( General Service Tax) also affected his popularity as the small businessman and farmer were adversely affected. The opposition assumed that the time was ripe to defeat the BJP and thus formed alliances all over India.

Hindu card

Modi was cornered but he played the "Hindu Card," and his recent response to the killing of 42 paramilitary soldiers in Pulwama in Kashmir with a raid on terror camp at Balakote added to his luster.

Modi once again caught the imagination of the Indians as a strong leader, and the likely result of the general election will be disheartening for the opposition. The NY Times has quoted Josukutty Cheriantharayil Abraham, an assistant professor of political science and director of the survey research center at the University of Kerala as saying that though results of the polls may not be correct in terms of the number of seats or vote percentage, but it could definitely show the trends, who is likely to win and lose.

The exit polls have all reported a massive win for Modi and the NDA alliance that he heads. The final counting of votes will start on May 23, and the results could be out by evening on the same day.

Last word

Modi who was last week labeled as the great divider by Time is sure of victory and has retired to the Hindu shrine of Kedarnath in North India to pray and meditate. The results of the exit polls are a dampener for the opposition. The Congress party in particular and Rahul Gandhi will be disheartened and hope the exit polls are wrong. However many of the observers have reported a Hindu renaissance, and this is like to take Modi home safe and dry. The US will be happy with a Modi win for he is the architect of the strategic partnership with it.