BJP leads so far in early trends

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken an early lead in the counting of votes for the 17th Lok Sabha elections that ended on May 19.

Of the 42 seats for which trends are available, the party is ahead in 29 seats.

The Congress is leading in 8 seats.

The bitterly-fought seven-phase exercise stretched over 39 days and saw the highest-ever turnout for an election at 67.1%.

According to exit polls released on Sunday, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is expected to get anywhere between 242 and 365 seats.

The Congress, which was decimated in the 2014 general elections when it got a mere 44 seats, is seen bettering its performance. The United Progressive Alliance, led by the grand old party, is seen getting between 82 and 164 seats, according to the pollsters.