Assembly Elections: Exit Polls Predict Big Jolt to BJP
The Wire 10 Dec 2018
If the exit polls are to be believed, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be staring at massive defeats at the hands of the Congress in the recently-concluded assembly polls in five states.
Soon after polling ended on December 7 at 5 pm, the exit polls by various agencies started coming in. Five states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram – voted to elect their next government.
Among these, the first three are ruled by the BJP while the Telangana and Mizoram governments are currently in the hands of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Congress.
The polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are almost a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP. In Telangana, the TRS is looking to serve another term but is facing stiff resistance from the Congress-led alliance with the Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India, and Telangana Jana Samithi.
In Mizoram, the Lal Thanhawla-led Congress government is fighting strong anti-incumbency. The two opposition parties, Mizo National Front (MNF) and Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNF), are looking to upstage the Congress.
All exit polls unanimously predicted a Congress victory in Rajasthan. The largest state in India in terms of area has always voted its government out of power after one term, at least in the last few decades. In 2018, the state appears set to repeat the trend.
Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both of which have elected BJP governments for three consecutive terms, seem to be headed for a photo finish. The results that different exit poll agencies threw up appeared inconclusive as the difference between the Congress and BJP is really close, both in terms of vote share and seats.
However, the Congress can derive confidence from the fact that in all the surveys, the party vote share has significantly gone up compared to its 2013 figure.
TRS expected to retain Telangana
The TRS looks set to serve another term in Telangana, if exit polls are to be believed. Things had heated up in the state because of a spirited fight the Congress-led alliance or Prajakutami put up against the TRS. The TRS was so confident of a win that it dissolved the assembly nine months before its tenure’s scheduled expiry, forcing early elections in the state.
However, the TRS will keep its fingers crossed, as the margin of its victory is likely to be low. In most polls, the Congress is shown to be finishing a close second. Despite an aggressive campaign, the BJP remains a non-starter in the southern state.
In Mizoram, the exit polls predicted either a hung assembly or gave a slight advantage to the MNF. The Congress will, thus, be worried.
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