he BJP is tipped to lose Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, with Madhya Pradesh likely to deliver a neck-and-neck verdict in the recent assembly elections, according to India Today-Axis My India exit polls.
The state’s chief minister since 2005, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, faced a tough contest in the November 28 vote, the poll indicated.
In the 230-seat assembly, his BJP is expected to win between 102 and 120 constituencies, with the Congress likely to secure between 104 and 122, the exit polls showed.
The BSP might win up to three seats and others between three and eight, the data suggested. In terms of vote share, the Congress is projected to have secured 41 percent and the BJP 40 percent. Region-wise, the Congress has been found to be leading in 21 constituencies of the 31-seat Chambal belt, 17 of the 30-seat Vindhya and in 27 of the 47-seat Mahakoshal region, the data suggested. The BJP, on the other hand, appears to have outpaced the opponents in 16 of the 20-seat Bhopal region, 29 of the 55-seat Malwa and 12 of the 18-seat Nimar region. Both parties were neckand-neck in the 14-constituency Bundelkhand zone, the findings showed. Madhay Pradesh recorded a voter turnout of 74.61 percent last month compared to 72.13 percent registered in 2013. Hitesh Bajpai, the BJP spokesman granted a Cabinet rank status in the Chouhan government, insisted that the results were not in sync with “the reality on ground”.
“We will win a majority and form the next government though the number of seats that we win can be little less than what we won in 2013,” he said.
The Congress, on the other hand, said the exit poll had got the trend right even though the number of seats given to the party were much lower than expected. “We will win with a clean majority. People have come out in large numbers to vote. The voting percentage in rural areas has been particularly high. One thing is clear that the mandate would be complete and we will form the government, said Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi.
Five years ago, the BJP retained power in Madhya Pradesh, winning 165 of the 230 assembly seats. The Congress secured 58 constituencies back then.
Chhattisgarh — which for the first time witnessed a three-way contest, with the ruling BJP fighting it out with the opposition Congress and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance — looks set for change, according to the exit poll.
In the 90-seat state assembly, the Congress party is expected to secure between 55 and 65 slots, reducing the BJP’s tally to anywhere between 21 and 31, the data showed. According to the exit poll, Rahul Gandhi’s party is likely to have secured a vote share of 45 percent and the BJP 38.
Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh and its alliance partner, Mayawati’s BSP, are likely to get four to eight seats with a vote share of nine percent. The poll showed the Congress leading in ten of the 12-seat Bastar region and in 51 constituencies elsewhere. The Congress blamed the BJP’s projected defeat to what it alleged was its 15 years of “misrule and rampant corruption” “When we come to power, we will form an SIT to probe all corruption charges,” said state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel.
On the other hand, BJP spokesperson Shrichand Sundrani expressed confidence that the party would retain power for yet another term. “The Congress is playing as a team without any captain and agenda, whereas people voted for development,” Sundrani claimed. In 2013, the BJP, led by chief minister Raman Singh, won 49 and the Congress 39 of the state’s 90 assembly seats.
The Congress looks set to sweep Rajasthan, winning 119 to 141 of the total 200 constituencies in the desert state, the poll found. Led by chief minister Vasundhara Raje, the BJP’s tally might plummet from 163 in 2013 to anywhere between 55 and 72, the data suggested.
The poll pegged the Congress’ vote share at 42 percent and the BJP’s at 37. Except for Mewar and Jaisalmer-Bikaner belt, where the BJP has been found to have fared better, the Congress has been projected to have scored a significant lead in the rest of Rajasthan.
Chief minister Raje, while speaking with India Today, mentioned, “The BJP had campaigned using development as its plank whereas the Congress clearly did not have any issues and that is why it went off the track.”
The exit poll showed the ruling TRS winning power in Telangana for another term. Chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is expected to win 79 to 91 of the state’s 119 constituencies. The Congress-led alliance may secure 21 to 33 seats, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM between four and seven and the BJP up to three, according to the poll findings. The TRS bagged 46 percent of the poll share and the grand alliance of the Congress, the TDP and others 37 percent, the data indicated.
The BJP’s vote share trailed behind at seven percent. On its part, the TRS welcomed the exitpoll results. “Trends are very positive.
The TRS is going to win this election and form the government again,” party general secretary K Keshava Rao said. The Congress and the BJP, however, disagreed with the findings.
“We would rather wait for the actual results different agencies are giving out different results, which is actually confusing. We are wining and that’s what we know,” remarked Congress leader G Narayan Reddy. The BJP echoed similar views. “Exit polls and surveys have gone wrong earlier as well. We will wait for the results. In the past, also when BJP was ruled out in surveys, we actually came out victorious,” said the BJP’s N. Ramchandra Rao.
The last Congress bastion in the eight north-eastern states, Mizoram seems to be going to the main opposition, Mizo National Front (MNF). The exit poll gave 16-22 seats to the MNF headed by Zoramthanga and eight to 12 to the Congress in the 40-seat assembly.
The state’s Zoram Nationalist Party is also tipped to win between eight and 12 seats, the data showed.
According to the exit poll, the MNF’s vote share stood at 34 percent, the ZPM’s at 31 percent and the Congress’ at 29 percent.