Modi’s BJP to win India’s 2024 polls, seat share may fall: survey

By Thomson Reuters Feb 8, 2024 | 11:16 AM

By Rupam Jain

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party will secure a clear majority in general elections this summer, a win that will ensure a comfortable third term for Modi, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.

Findings from the “Mood of the Nation Poll”, a survey by private media group India Today, showed that voters continue to see Modi as a popular nationalist leader who has accelerated growth and improved foreign ties.

There was no breakdown of respondents to the survey by religion in a country where Muslims make up 14% of the 1.42 billion population.

The poll of 35,801 respondents conducted across India between Dec. 15 and Jan. 28 found Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies could win 335 of the 543 directly elected seats in the lower house of parliament.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance coalition won more than 350 seats in the 2019 election.

But top BJP leaders have proclaimed that they are looking beyond 400 seats, making it the most decisive victory ever.

The survey showed that INDIA, a political alliance of the main opposition Congress and over two dozen regional parties, could secure 166 seats.

Regional parties could be on a wining streak in southern Indian states where the BJP could fail to win many seats, it showed.

But polls and surveys in India have a mixed record with many often getting election results in the world’s biggest democracy wrong.

India’s economy is now the fifth-largest in the world, from the tenth-largest when Modi first took office a decade ago, and the fastest expanding among major nations.

Promising change, Modi swept to power in 2014, and he has consolidated his hold since with a focus on boosting infrastructure and aggressive Hindu nationalism.

The survey also found that 42% of respondents admired Modi this year for his decision to inaugurate a grand temple to Hindu deity Ram in Ayodhya, built on the site of a centuries-old mosque razed by hardline Hindus in 1992.

At least 19% of the respondents credited Modi for raising India’s global stature and 12% said revoking the autonomy of the only Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir region bordering Pakistan was an achievement.

(Reporting by Rupam Jain; Editing by Nick Macfie)