Madhya Pradesh may be heading for a hung assembly, with five of seven exit polls predicting that both the BJP and the Congress will fall short of majority. According to an aggregate of seven 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. Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party will get 2 seats.
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 six exit polls shows. The majority mark in the assembly lies at 46.
Rajasthan, which has not voted for the same party for two consecutive terms in the last 20 years, will this time pick the Congress, continuing the trend, according to the poll of exit polls. In the 200-member assembly, the BJP will win 74 and the Congress 117, an aggregate of two exit polls have predicted. Mayawati’s BSP will win one seat.
In Telangana, India’s youngest state, which voted for the second time today, exit polls show Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekar Rao’s gamble of dissolving the state assembly eight months before schedule delivering a wafer-thin majority. The TRS will get 62 of the state’s 119 assembly seats, where the majority mark is at 61. The Congress-Chandrababu Naidu combine will get 41 seats and the BJP six seats, an aggregate of two exit polls have predicted.
Mizoram, one of the four states where the Congress is still in power, will vote out the Congress, predicts exit polls in the state. The exit polls conducted by Republic-C Voter shows the Congress getting only 18 seats in the 40-member assembly. The MNF, it predicts, will get 20 seats, but fail to cross the halfway mark. The BJP, the exit polls predict, will have to wait longer to open its account in the state and ruling the entire northeast.
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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