Exit Polls Indicate BJP Juggernaut & Congress Rout

NEW DELHI (TIP): The Congress faces a blank-out in four states that have polled in assembly elections in November-December, while the BJP will certainly win in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, is likely to retain Chhattisgarh and may just grab power in Delhi as well, according to exit polls and postpoll surveys released on December 4. If these polls prove to be accurate, it is very bad news for the Congress which faces a national election five months down the road. Equally, it is a bumper booster shot in the BJP’s arm and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

While Mizoram has also had assembly elections, no exit polls were available for the state and its outcome, in any case, can have little effect on the 2014 elections. While there were only minor differences among the different polls on Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, the estimates for Delhi varied widely, with two of the four polls predicting a hung assembly, but two others giving the BJP a clear though slim majority.

One poll even suggested that debutant Aam Aadmi Party would emerge as the single largest party in the new assembly. On Delhi — the election that will be most closely watched as a pointer to the national mood — an ORG survey for Headlines Today suggested the BJP would win 41 seats, giving it a clear majority in the 70-member assembly. It said the Congress would win 20 seats, and AAP just six. The ABP News-AC Nielsen also predicted a BJP win with 37 seats, but predicted that the Congress with 16 and AAP with 15 would finish neck-and-neck.

The C-Voter poll put the BJP tantalisingly short of a majority with 31 seats, the Congress and 20, AAP at 15 and others with four seats, which could end in a hung house. Today’s Chanakya had a radically different prediction, with AAP projected to win 31 seats, BJP 29 and Congress a mere 10. Obviously, the significant performance of newcomer AAP was seriously testing the science of psephology. The other relatively close contest appears to be in Chhattisgarh.

Here, ORG and Today’s Chanakya gave BJP a clear majority, C-Voter predicted it would fall just short and the CNN-IBN-CSDS poll gave a range for the party of 45-55 seats in the 90-member house, which means it may or may not have a majority. What they all agreed on was that the Congress would not win, its tally ranging from a minimum of 32 to a maximum of 41 across the four polls. On Madhya Pradesh, there is unanimity that Shivraj Singh Chouhan will win a third term in style. The range of predicted tallies for the BJP in the 230-member is from a minimum of 128 in the C-Voter poll to a maximum of 161 in the poll done by Today’s Chanakya.

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The Congress tally in the state, if the polls are right, could be anywhere between 62 and 92. Rajasthan too is projected to deliver a landslide verdict in favour of the BJP, with its tally projected at 110-147 seats in the 200-member assembly across four different surveys and the Congress predicted to win at best 62 seats and at worst 39.

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