India prepares for Modi return after exit polls

Indians on Monday speculated about the likely return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after exit polls the previous day showed his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies retaining power with an overwhelming majority.

(REUTERS) - The Indian election - billed the world's biggest democratic exercise - has not quite concluded.

But exit polls point towards a clear win for Prime Minister Narenda Modi's party - the BJP - possibly by an even bigger majority than he won in 2014.

900 million people were eligible to vote in the seven-phased election, 10% more than five years ago.

According to two anonymous BJP sources, Modi's party - feeling confident after the exit polls - is due to meet coalition partners to discuss a new government on Tuesday (May 21).

And, the Monday morning (May 20) markets were also reassured by the political forecast.

Indian stocks saw their biggest single-day gain since September 2013 and the value of the rupee also increased.

But until the votes are officially counted on Thursday (May 23), nothing is set in stone.

In 2004, exit polls expected an NDA government, only to see a Congress-led alliance sweep to power when votes were counted days later.