The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is unlikely to cross the halfway mark of 272 seats on its own, making seats won by its partners as part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) a key deciding factor in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which is leading in 16 seats, is set to emerge as one of the kingmakers. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), which is leading in 12 seats, is also expected to be a key player in the next coalition government.

Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena, a part of the NDA, is leading in six seats in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackrey), a faction which is part of the INDIA alliance, has won a seat and is leading in eight seats.

Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party, a part of the NDA alliance, is leading in 5 seats.

In total, the NDA is leading in around 295 seats while the I.N.D.I.A. alliance is leading in 230 seats. The BJP on its own is leading in 212 seats and has already won 29 seats as of 5 pm.

The Lok Sabha election results came as a surprise for many after exit polls gave a thumping majority to the BJP last week. Indian equity benchmarks the BSE Sensex and the Nifty 50 dropped as much as 7% in intraday trade on Tuesday as early trends showed a lower-than-expected seat tally for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The Indian National Congress was leading in 94 seats. Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party was leading in 34 seats while Mamata Banerjee -led All India Trinamool Congress was leading in 29 seats.

In big upsets, Union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani lost the key Amethi seat to Congress’ oldtimer and Gandhi family confidant Kishori Lal Sharma. Irani had emerged as the giant slayer in 2019 Lok Sabha polls when she defeated Rahul Gandhi from his family’s bastion.

In Kerala, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor is leading the BJP heavyweight and union minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar by around 16,000 votes.

While the NDA seems on track to retain power, the BJP on its own is still away from the 272 halfway mark needed to form a government. The total tally of NDA in evening leads is way below the promised 400-mark, which now seems impossible.

In Uttar Pradesh, trends reveal substantial gains for the INDIA bloc, driven by Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP). The BJP leads in 35 seats, the SP in 35 as well. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leads in 2 seats while Congress leads in 5 after having won 1.

In Gurgaon, BJP veteran Rao Inderjit Singh is trailing Congress’s Raj Babbar by 25,462 votes, hinting at a potential upset. The NDA is currently leading in 30 seats across Bihar, while the INDIA bloc has a lead in seven seats.

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