The BJP, which got 116 seats in the 2009 general election, is projected to improve its tally and is likely to secure 206-218 seats, the survey conducted by CNN-IBN and CSDS said. The survey added that Congress’ tally is likely to reduce from 206 to 94-106.

The BJP has benefited from a wave of public anger over corruption scandals and a slowing economy under the ruling Congress party, which may be facing one of its weakest-ever showings at the polls.

The survey suggested the BJP and its allies would win 38 percent of votes, giving them between 234 and 246 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress and its allies are likely to get 28 percent of votes, translating into 111 to 123 seats.

The polls have repeatedly suggested the BJP will emerge as the largest single party in the 543-seat Lok Sabha but it is unlikely to win an outright majority and is seen forming a coalition government at the Centre.

The BJP has promised to kick-start the economy, bring in factories and educate the densely populated states of India.

Voting in the world's most populous democracy, where about 815 million people are expected to cast their votes, is phased over several weeks, ending on May 12. The results are due to be announced on May 16.

National favourite

The polls have consistently shown voters favouring Modi, a divisive but charismatic figure, to lead the country. Rahul Gandhi, the political heir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty appointed to lead the Congress campaign, has in contrast struggled to gather support among the voters.

Family, friends and others put the rise of Modi down to his ambition, his eye for opponents' weaknesses and his grasp of economic management. But his critics speak of an authoritarian who at times rides roughshod over the democratic process and espouses moderation while concealing sectarian tendencies that could alienate the Muslim minority.

The BJP and its allies are forecast to claim 36 percent of the popular votes in Uttar Pradesh, which as India's most populous state offers the largest number of parliamentary seats, a poll published on Thursday showed.

The BJP and its partners are predicted to perform well in Rajasthan and Maharashtra, where they may get 55 and 43 percent of the votes respectively and the largest number of seats, according to two opinion polls.


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