Exit polls suggest that in the Indian provincial elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is ahead.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to be holding onto power for another term in the western Indian state of Gujarat – the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – according to exit polls for crucial Monday provincial elections.
On December 5, 2022, Gujarat voted in the second phase of the elections to elect members for the provincial assembly in the state, which has been ruled by the BJP since 1995.
In the evening, most of the exit polls on Indian news channels predicted Modi's party would hold onto power.
If the exit polls prove right, it would be the party’s seventh straight term in the western state.
Millions of people queued outside polling stations since morning to cast votes in numerous districts across the state. Nearly 59% of polling was recorded when the voting closed in the evening.
Modi travelled to his home state to cast his vote, writing on Twitter: "Cast my vote in Ahmedabad. Urging all those voting today to turnout in record numbers and vote.”
Local media reported that Muslims in the village of Undhela boycotted the provincial elections. In October police in Undhela flogged Muslim men who were tied to a pole for allegedly throwing stones during a Hindu religious festival.
Cast my vote in Ahmedabad. Urging all those voting today to turnout in record numbers and vote. pic.twitter.com/m0X16uCtjA— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 5, 2022
The results are set to be declared on Thursday, along with the northern Himachal Pradesh state, where polling took place last month.
Many exit polls on Monday evening also hinted that the ruling BJP is in a close race with the opposition Indian National Congress party in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.
Political experts in India believe the results will also offer clues to Modi's popularity amid issues like inflation and unemployment. They also say the earlier election in Gujarat state was traditionally a contest between the BJP and the Indian National Congress.
The latter has suffered drubbings in a number of regional elections over the last few years.
The Aam Aadmi Party is ruling in the national capital New Delhi and the northern Punjab state.
Monday’s exit polls showed that Aam Aadmi is set to secure the maximum number of seats in Delhi's civic body polls that were held on Sunday.