The five-week-long elections are set to conclude on Monday, with exit polls from media organisations to be issued after the last votes are cast. Actual results will be unveiled on May 16.

Polls have consistently shown the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi ahead, raising expectations the opposition party, which is seen by markets as being more investor- and business-friendly, will either win or come close to an outright majority.

Sectors seen most likely to benefit from a Modi win led the gains. Infrastructure shares such as Ambuja Cement surged, while the Bank Nifty hit a record high on hopes a new government would frame policies that would aid the economy.

"There is optimism that markets are getting re-rated after the election, and people are betting on that," said Deven Choksey, managing director at KR Choksey Securities.

"People are buying into quality blue-chip stocks, such as ONGC or Reliance. We also advise clients to stay invested in known ideas," he added.

The Sensex gained as much as 2.75 percent to 22,959.33, surpassing an earlier high of 22,939.31 points hit on April 25.

The Nifty was up 2.77 percent, not far from its peak of 6,869.80 posted on April 25.

Gains were broad-based, with 29 out of 30 listed companies in the benchmark Sensex rising.

Banking stocks were among the leaders, with the Bank Nifty gaining as much as 4.4 percent to a record high.

ICICI Bank surged 4.2 percent, while State Bank of India rose 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, infrastructure shares rose on hopes a BJP-led government would revive a stagnant investment cycle. Ambuja Cement gained 6.6 percent while ACC Ltd rose 5.3 percent.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries Ltd gained 3.5 percent while Oil and Natural Gas Corp. surged 3.2 percent.


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