Lok Sabha elections: Early trends show NDA ahead of UPA, others

Mahesana Lok Sabha Constituency in Gujarat Live Results 2019 Leading Candidates From The Seat 2014 Winning MP And More

The exercise will take place in five polling stations per assembly segment which effectively means that out of almost 10.3 lakh polling stations, the EVM-VVPAT matching will take place in 20600 such stations, news agency PTI reported.

The Rupee appreciated by 26 paise to 69.40 against the USA dollar in early trade on Thursday as counting of votes for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections began across the country. Over 8,049 candidates were in the fray for 542 seats. The exercise will take place for the first time.

The EC, however, dismissed all reports of EVMs being manipulated saying that all EVMs and voter verified paper audit trail machines (VVPAT) were sealed properly and stored in guarded strong rooms.

In such a situation, the results based on paper slip count will be considered as final.

Exit polls, conducted by local media, put Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition as winning a clear majority.

The party, along with its allies, is predicted to sweep a lion's share of the Hindi heartland of the nation including states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar as well as the national capital.

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In the 2014 elections, the BJP won 282 seats while the Congress had suffered a severe drubbing getting an all-time low of 44 seats as against 206 it won in 2009.

Soon after the release of exit poll numbers on Sunday evening, several opposition leaders dismissed the numbers, citing their unreliability.

Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, is seeking a record fifth term in office as his party, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), faces an aggressive BJP - a former ally - which has made inroads into the coastal state.

Among the key candidates who contested the polls are Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Union ministers, BJP chief Amit Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

He and other Congress leaders repeatedly attacked BJP for alleged irregularities in Rafale fighter jet deal, demonetisation and GST, besides employment and agrarian issues.

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