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Lok Sabha poll counting: Narendra Modi eyes record-equalling feat, Opposition hopes for rebound

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi eyes a record-equalling third straight term in power amid the INDIA opposition bloc’s hope of springing a surprise as the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha election is set for Tuesday, bringing an end to a marathon polling exercise stretching over 80 days.

While most experts have long seen the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as the favourite in the polls, a lot is at stake for the ruling combine in terms of the scale of victory it can pull off and new territories it can conquer. The opposition’s stakes are higher still amid its reducing national footprint.

Exit polls have been, however, unanimous in their prediction that the NDA is closer to realising Modi’s ambitious target of “400 paar” for his alliance than the INDIA bloc is to crossing even the 180 mark, one-third of the total number of seats.

Though electoral verdicts have historically been accepted, even though grudgingly, by all parties, there has been a sharper edge to the questions being raised by opposition parties this time over the polling process, including the Election Commission (EC).

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