If exit polls hold, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi should be India’s next prime minister.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party-led Democratic Alliance holds a clear majority in exit polls after the first round of general election voting.
The world’s biggest democracy saw a record 66 percent voter turnout, with 500 million people taking part.
The BJP and its allies have won 249 to 289 seats out of 543 in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, according to the exit polls. The official results will be announced Friday.
Modi is widely considered a great supporter of economic reform and the prospect of a Modi-led government has boosted Indian stocks almost 13 percent since the start of the year.
The rupee has gained, too, after a dismal performance in 2013, according to media reports.
However, Modi has been dogged by controversy for his handling of the 2002 Gujarat riots in which more than 1,000 people were killed, mostly minority Muslims.
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