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Lok Sabha elections: NDA crosses majority mark as per EC trends; INDIA bloc above 200

New Delhi: As the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls is underway, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA crossed the majority mark in early leads and the INDIA bloc above 200, defying all exit poll predictions.
BJP is ahead in 236 seats while its broader coalition NDA is leading in 299 seats. The majority mark is 272.
Meanwhile, INDIA bloc is leading on 226 seats and others on 18 seats.
Congress is leading on 92 seats, Samajwadi Party on 34, DMK on 21 seats, Trinamool Congress on 30, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) on 10 seats, NCP (SP) on eight seats, CPI(M) on five seats and Aam Aadmi Party on three seats.
INDIA bloc is making strong gains in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and is leading on the most number of seats.
In Maharashtra, the Maha Vikas Aghadi of Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (SC) are ahead in 30 seats while the BJP-led Mahayuti is leading in 17 out of 40 seats.
Congress's Rahul Gandhi is leading from Rae Bareli's seat while Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Dinesh Pratap Singh is trailing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading followed by the Congress' Ajay Rai from Varanasi.
Around 642 million people voted in Lok Sabha elections held over seven phases in a mammoth six-week period. The counting of votes began starting with postal ballot papers amid tight security.
The counting for State Legislative Assemblies of 175 Assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh and 147 Assembly constituencies in Odisha and results of bypolls in 25 Assembly constituencies also began.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is eyeing a third straight term in power, while the Opposition under the umbrella of the INDIA bloc is seeking to wrest power from the ruling party.
Most exit polls predicted a straight term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with quite a few of them projecting a two-thirds majority for the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The Congress party and its allies dismissed the exit polls as "orchestrated" and a work of "fantasy", asserting that the opposition INDIA bloc will form the next government at the Centre.
Strict security has been put in place for the smooth conduct of counting of votes for over 8,000 candidates in this general election.
Two polls predicted the BJP would also improve its numbers from the 303 seats it won in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In the 2019 elections, NDA wrested 353 seats, of which the BJP won 303 alone. The Opposition's UPA got only 93 seats of which the Congress got 52.
Even before the counting of the votes, the Bharatiya Janata Party won one seat of Surat Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha elections were held across the country in seven phases from April 19 to June 1.

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