BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan may not be back for a fourth term in Madhya Pradesh, according to an aggregate of five exit polls. The BJP will get 112 seats in the state, short of the halfway mark of 115 in the 230-member assembly; the Congress will get 107 seats, the poll of exit polls shows.
In Chhattisgarh too, the BJP might have cause to worry, if the exit polls are to be believed. The BJP, led by Chief Minister Raman Singh, will get 42 seats, while the Congress will win 41 of the state’s 90 seats. The Ajit Jogi-Mayawati alliance will get 5 seats, the aggregate of three exit polls shows. The majority mark in the assembly lies at 46.
Health warning: Exit polls often get it wrong.
The exit polls came in as polling ended in Rajasthan and Telangana at 5 pm. Chhattisgarh voted in two phases on November 12 and November 20, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram voted on November 28.
Telangana witnessed a three-cornered battle with the TRS taking on the BJP and a grand alliance led by the Congress and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party. While KCR’s party won 63 seats last time against the 21 seats of Congress and 15 of Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, data from the last election shows a 2 per cent vote swing may change the outcome of the election. Mr Rao had a good equation with Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, which won seven seats in the last election.
In the last five elections since 1993, Rajasthan has swung between the BJP and the Congress. The Congress claims there is huge anti-incumbency in the state. In the last round of by-elections in February, the party wrested the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats and the Mandalgarh Assembly seat from the BJP.
In the heartland state of Madhya Pradesh, the Congress is hoping to unseat the BJP, which has been in power for the last 15 years. The state recorded a voter turnout of over 74 per cent, higher than what it did in last elections in 2013. The Congress is counting on anti-incumbency to sweep it back to power.
Chhattisgarh, the only state to have voted in two phases, witnessed a three-way battle for the first time with the ruling BJP trying to wrestle it out with the opposition Congress and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance emerging as a formidable third front. Mr Jogi – who ruled Chhattisgarh for the first three years as a Congress Chief Minister, later floated his own outfit and aligned with the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Communist Party of India – is seen as a possible kingmaker in a state where the vote share difference between the BJP and the Congress was less than one per cent in 2013.
While the main opposition in Mizoram — the Mizo National Front (MNF) — is optimistic about coming back to power after 10 years, the BJP hopes to not only open its account in the state but also turn kingmaker for a non-Congress government in the event of a hung assembly. The BJP is contesting in 39 of the 40 seats. The ruling Congress and the main opposition party, the Mizo National Front, have fielded 40 candidates each. The state saw over 80 per cent voting.
Votes in these five states will be counted on Tuesday.
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