New Delhi:

Today, most exit polls forecast a majority for the ruling BJP-led NDA in Lok Sabha polls with varying numbers as the seven-phase polling in the general elections ended Sunday.The counting of votes will begin at 8 am on May 23.


After nearly two months of high-pitch campaigning and seven phase of hectic poll schedule, most exit polls have predicated a clear majority to BJP-led NDA with nearly or above 300 seats, out of total 542 Lok Sabha seats 


Equity markets are likely to extend gains after most exit polls showed Narendra Modi retaining power with a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The benchmark Sensex and Nifty could gain between 1 per cent and 2 per cent on Monday, said market players, adding that the gains will be capped as investors will wait for the actual outcome due later during the week (May 23).


The benchmark Sensex on Friday had posted its second-biggest single-day gain of 2019, ahead of the exit polls in anticipation of a favourable poll outcome. The Sensex had ended at 37,931, up 537 points, or 1.44 per cent, while the Nifty50 had rallied 150 points, or 1.33 per cent, to close at 11,407.


Two exit polls telecast by Times Now gave the NDA 296 and 306 seats, while they projected 126 and 132 for the Congress-led UPA. The CVoter-Republic exit poll has forecast 287 and 128 seats for the NDA and UPA respectively.


The saffron party appeared to make major gains in eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha. 


However, Neta-News X predicted that the National Democratic Alliance could fall short of the majority and win 242 seats. It gave the UPA 164 seats. Elections to 542 seats of the Lok Sabha ended Sunday. The majority mark is 272. An exit poll on News 18 forecast that the NDA will win 292-312 seats while it gave 62-72 seats for the UPA. Many exit polls predicted that SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh is likely to trump the BJP in the country's politically most crucial state. The BJP had won 71 and its ally Apna Dal two of its 80 seats in 2014.


Exit polls were, however, divided in their prediction for the politically most crucial state of Uttar Pradesh with some like ABP-Nielsen saying that the BJP's tally may fall to 22 from 71 while a few others like New 18-Ipsos and News 24-Chanakya tipping its tally over 60 seats.