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Right Wing Nationalist Alliance Set To Retain Power In India


India's ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by right wing nationalist party BJP, is set to retain power by winning a commanding majority in the parliamentary elections.

Trends released Thursday by the Election Commission for 542 seats in Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, show that NDA is leading in 340 seats.

The main opposition UPA alliance, led by the Indian National Congress party, is in a distant second position, leading in 92 seats.

Others are leading in 105 constituencies.

With a nearly two-thirds majority assured, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is certain to swear in for a second consecutive term.

The results sent the Indian markets higher, as the benchmark BSE Sensex touched 40,000 for the first time in history, and NSE Nifty breached the 12,000 level. The rupee appreciated 14 paise to 69.51 against the US dollar.

While the Modi wave swept through north India, the Opposition displayed strong resistance in three southern states. The NDA failed to win a seat in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

NDA had 336 seats while BJP accounted for 282 in the outgoing parliament.

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

Congress improved its position this time by leading in 50 seats. However, despite being the second largest party, they need 54 seats to claim the status of Opposition leader.

Counting of votes for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections began Thursday morning across the country, and the final results are expected later in the day.

The opposition parties had raised complaints over alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines, but the Election Commission rejected them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers, BJP party chief Amit Shah, and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are among key leaders who are leading in the election.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was heading for record lead in the southern constituency of Wayanad, while he is trailing by more than 20000 votes in Amethi in North India, the second seat from where he is contesting.

The voting percentage of 67.11 this time was the highest-ever voter turnout in Indian parliamentary elections.

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