Two out of four opinion polls showed that the Narendra Modi-led NDA government may scrape through with a wafer-thin majority while another said the ruling coalition will fail to breach the 272-mark.
A fourth one has given majority for the BJP-led government, as the country starts voting on Thursday in a seven-phase poll for which campaigning had started soon after the announcement of polls.
The numbers ranged between 267 and 295 for the NDA while for the UPA, it swinged between 125 and 149.
Others, including Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP, could get 115 to 145.
A range of issues from national security concerns to jobs to unemployment have been raised during the campaign period.
According to the India TV-CNX survey, which was the third in a series, the NDA is poised to win 295 seats while the Congress-led UPA may get 127 and the ‘Others’ could get 121.
Among the four surveys, the C-Voter gave the least number of seats for NDA — 267 — while the UPA could get 142 and others, 134.
The Times Now a bjp supporting channel gave the NDA 279 while it gave the UPA 149, the highest for the Congress-led grouping, and others 115. The CSDS-Lokniti gave the NDA 273 (263 to 283), just one more than the majority mark, while the Congress could get 125 (115-135). Others, with 145 (130-160) seats, may get more than the Congress.
The opinion polls showed that the BJP was not in a position to garner majority seats on its own as it did in 2014 when it won 282 seats. However, loss in a string of by-polls had reduced the BJP to 269 seats.
If the BJP is losing some seats, according to polls, one of the gainers is the Congress, which is expected to at least double its seats from 2014’s figure of 44.
Other possible gainers include the DMK in Tamil Nadu and the YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh.
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP may end up with 30-45 seats against its 71 in 2014, as the party is up against a formidable combine of SP, BSP and RLD, which could win up to 50 seats.
The Congress is fighting along with marginal players, but is predicted to win only 2-4 seats.“In today’s India, we have seen perhaps for the first time security issues competing with, and outdoing, a bread and butter issue like unemployment,” Reuters quoted poll agency CVoter as saying in a statement.
“Primarily, the BJP has been unable to sufficiently distinguish itself from the Congress when it comes to making people feel the difference in terms of their livelihoods and economic interests. However, when it comes to controlling and responding on terror, the same set of respondents does feel a clear and visible difference,” it said.