POST TIME: 22 May, 2019 01:53:25 AM
These kingmakers could decide who forms new govt

These kingmakers could decide who forms new govt

Exit polls suggest Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win a landslide victory when votes are counted tomorrow. But if the polls are wrong, he may need outside help to form government.

Here’s a list of kingmakers — regional political leaders with clout across various Indian states — who may decide whether the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party or their biggest political rival, Rahul Gandhi’s Congress, can reach the 272 seats needed for a majority.

The mild-mannered Naveen Patnaik, supremo of the Biju Janata Dal in the eastern state of Odisha, could well be one of the key men to be wooed by both Modi and Gandhi. This time, widely-varying exit polls predict Patnaik will win between two and 15 seats. Kalvakuntala

Known as KCR, the chief minister of India’s youngest state Telangana has been reportedly trying to pull together a non-BJP, non-Congress front to form government. Rao’s party Telangana Rashtra Samithi currently has 10 of the 17 parliament seats from Telangana.

Amid reports that the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress may be poised to win more parliamentary seats than his local rival and former Modi ally Chandrababu Naidu, both BJP and Congress are reportedly trying to win YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s support. Exit polls suggest Reddy’s party, which accounts for four out of the 25 members Andhra sends to the Parliament, may win up to 20 seats.

Chief minister of the eastern state of  West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee could be one of the deciders for a non-BJP government in New Delhi.  Exit polls  suggest her tally could fall to between 24-29. Modi’s biggest parliamentary rival after the Congress, Banerjee has been one of the most serious roadblocks to the BJP expanding its electoral presence in eastern India.

Mayawati, the 63-year-old leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, which represents Dalits or lower castes who make up about one fifth of India’s population, joined with Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal to form an anti-BJP front in Uttar Pradesh.

­ Yet, exit polls suggest the opposite, giving the BSP-Samajwadi alliance between 20 and 45 seats of the 80 parliamentary seats from Uttar Pradesh.

Leader of the Samajwadi or Socialist party, Akhilesh Yadav commanded a mere seven seats in the last Lok Sabha election.  Yadav, 46, may stand with the anti-Modi parties.

Chief of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin has publicly endorsed Gandhi for Prime Minster.  Exit polls suggest Stalin’s alliance with Congress may win as many as 27 of Tamil Nadu’s 39 parliament seats.