Monday, October 4, 1999 Published at 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
World: South Asia
Polls point to BJP win
Good news for the BJP who are projected to win a majority
Following a violent final day of voting in the marathon Indian election, exit polls point to a clear majority for the governing Bhatariya Janata Party-led coalition.
Figures published by Indian state television suggest the BJP block will have 287 seats in the new parliament, against 174 for Congress and its allies, and 77 for other parties.
Another private poll by Insight shows a more optimistic outlook for the BJP, with 295-305 seats, and a poorer performance from Congress, with 145-155 seats.
Violence kills 30
Sunday's polling - the fifth day in the staggered vote - was marred by attacks which left 30 people dead.
In the state of Manipur, where voting is scheduled for Monday, 16 people were killed in a shootout between paramilitary forces and militants.
Twenty civilians were injured, many of them critically. In the neighbouring states of Assam and Tripura, 12 people died during rebel attacks.
One person also died in the northern state of Bihar, where violence in earlier rounds of voting claimed some 45 lives.
More than 70,000 policemen and troops had been deployed in Assam alone in an effort to minimise trouble.
Correspondents say the violence was moderate by the standards of earlier elections and the real problem was voter apathy.
India's Election Commission said the turnout was 56%, which is lower than normal.
About 133 million people in 118 constituencies were eligible to vote.
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee cast his vote soon after polls opened, in the northern city of Lucknow.
But several villages in his constituency boycotted the vote, to protest against the lack of development in the area.
Analysts say a lack of inherently political issues has turned the contest into a presidential-style campaign between Mr Vajpayee and Ms Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
There have been widespread charges of election rigging, leading the independent Election Commission to order hundreds of polling stations to hold reruns of the voting process.
Over the five polling days, 600 million people have been eligible to cast their ballots.