India state elections: Exit polls give BJP the upper hand
By Aditya Kalra and Shashank Chouhan
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to win in four of the five states that went to polls over the past month, exit poll surveys conducted by Cvoter and the India Today-ORG group showed. Such a victory will be a boost for the party and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi ahead of the 2014 general elections.
The results for all the states, except Mizoram, will be announced on Sunday. Here’s what the exit polls forecast:
MADHYA PRADESH: The BJP has been ruling the state for 10 years, and exit polls indicate the party will retain power in the 230-member assembly. The Congress party’s campaign, led by Jyotiraditya Scindia, helped it improve its tally as compared to 2008, but the BJP still has the upper hand, polls showed.
The Cvoter exit poll said the BJP will win 128 seats this year, as compared to 143 seats in 2008. The Congress is likely to win 92 seats, up from 71 in the last elections. The India Today-ORG survey predicted more success for the BJP, with the party likely to win 138 of 230 seats.
DELHI: Exit polls are indicating that the BJP will make a comeback after 15 years in the national capital. Delhi registered a record voter turnout of 67 percent this year in the Dec. 4 elections, which were seen as a three-party battle between the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The Cvoter exit poll said the BJP is likely to win 31 of the 70 seats, as compared to the 23 it won in 2008. The Congress is projected to win 24 seats, down from 43 in 2008, while newcomer AAP is likely to win 11 seats, the polls showed. The India Today-ORG survey showed that the BJP will get a clear majority with 41 seats.
RAJASTHAN: At least two post-poll surveys predict that the Congress party will lose power to the BJP in this year’s assembly elections. The Congress stormed to power in 2008 with 96 seats and is currently led by chief minister Ashok Gehlot, but Vasundhara Raje of the BJP seems set to make a comeback. Cvoter said “the huge anti-incumbency wave in Rajasthan seems to be resulting in one of the severest defeats that Congress might have suffered in the history of (the) state.”
CVoter’s exit poll predicts only 48 of the 199 assembly seats will be won by the Congress, while the BJP is likely to increase their tally to 130 from 78. The India Today-ORG survey also predicts a clear win for the BJP with 110 seats.
MIZORAM: In 2008, Congress won 32 seats in the state elections and elected Pu Lalthanhawla as its chief minister. The Cvoter exit poll predicts that no party will be in a position to form government on its own in this year’s assembly elections. The Congress will win 19 of the 40 seats, while the Mizo National Front-Mizoram People’s Conference (MNF+MPC) alliance will get 14 seats, the polls showed.
CHHATTISGARH: If post-poll surveys are to be believed, chief minister Raman Singh’s BJP is likely to emerge as the single-largest party in the state. “Chhattisgarh is too close to call from any parameter. The gap between BJP and Congress is hardly 2 percent votes in an extremely keen contest which has become bi-polar in real terms,” Cvoter said in its exit poll, which had a sample size of 20,211 people.
The BJP, which won 50 of 90 seats in 2008, is likely to go down to 44 seats this year. The Congress will increase its tally to 41 from 38, the poll said. The India Today-ORG survey predicts the BJP will win 53 seats while the Congress will get 33 seats.
(Editing by Tony Tharakan and Robert MacMillan; Follow Aditya on Twitter @adityayk, Shashank @shashankchouhan | Disclaimer: This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced in any form without permission)