Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling alliance will be just a few seats short of a majority in parliament, bolstered by a rise in nationalist sentiment over hostilities with arch foe Pakistan, a survey showed yesterday, days before voting begins. About 900 million people are eligible to vote in the election starting on Thursday, in which Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party-led group is taking on the Congress and its allies and a clutch of regional parties. The election had become tighter because of discontent in the countryside over a weak rural economy and lack of jobs for young people. But over the last month, support for Modi's Hindu nationalist party has grown following a spike in tension with Pakistan, the polls say. The BJP and its allies are expected to win 267 of the 543 parliament seats at stake, the CVoter polling agency said, just five short of the halfway mark required to rule.