A majority of exit polls have given Congress an edge in the crucial state of Madhya Pradesh, while some predicted a hung House.
New Delhi: The big semi-final of five Assembly polls ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha contest may end in a jolt for the BJP and infuse fresh energy into the Congress that seems poised for a comeback in three crucial states in the Hindi heartland, riding on acute agrarian distress and a promise of farm loan waiver and “soft Hindutva” policies in its manifestoes. A majority of exit polls have given the Congress an edge in the crucial state of Madhya Pradesh, while some predicted a hung House. Similarly most of the exit polls have also put Rajasthan in the Congress kitty. Exit polls, however, seemed to be divided on Chhattisgarh and gave Telangana to the TRS. In Mizoram, some exit polls showed that the Congress may be voted out by a slim margin. The results of all five states will be declared on December 11.
According to political analysts, what seems to have worked for the Congress in the Hindi heartland is the promise of waiving off farmers’ loans in all states if voted to power. The party also played the soft Hindutva card to the hilt promising cow protection in its manifestos in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The party also kept at bay infighting in both these states.
In Madhya Pradesh, India Today/Axis polls predicted a tight contest giving the Congress 104-122, the BJP 102-120 and others 4-11. The ABP/CSDS poll gave Congress a 126, BJP 94 and BSP-Ajit Jogi combination 10 seats. The C–Voter survey gave Congress 110-126, BJP 90-106 and the BSP-Jogi combine 6-22, similar predictions were made by India News which gave BJP- 106, Congress 112 and BSP 12. The exit poll done by Today’s Chanakya gave Congress 125 seats, BJP 103 seats and others 2-5 seats. Only Times Now/CNX exit polls called it in favour of the BJP giving it 126, the Congress 89 and the BSP 6. The state has 230 Assembly seats.
Most of the exit polls predicted a comfortable win for Congress in Rajasthan with the grand old party marching towards a majority mark in the 200-member Assembly. Times Now/CNX was the only survey to predict a win for the BJP with 105 seats in the 200-member Assembly, giving the Congress 85 and others, including BSP 9. While the India Today/Axis poll have Congress 119-141 seats and BJP 55-72, the Republic/C-Voter gave the Congress 137 and the BJP 60.
Chhattisgarh which has 90 seats seems to be close contest with different exit polls making varying predictions. The India Today/Axis poll gave 55-65 to the Congress, 21-31 to the BJP, the Republic C–Voter survey gave 40-50 to the Congress, 35-43 to the BJP and 3-7 to the BSP. On the contrary, the ABP/CSDS poll gave 52 to the BJP, 35 to the Congress and 3 to the BSP and the Times Now/CNX poll gave 46 to the BJP and 35 to the Congress and 7 to the BSP. Today’s Chanakya gave Congress 50 seats, BJP 36 seats and others 4-3 seats.
Almost all the exit polls gave Telangana to the TRS led by K. Chandrasekar Rao. The Times Now/CNX gave TRS 66 seats and the Congress TDP 37, the BJP 7. The India Today/Axis gave 85 to the TRS and 27 to the TDP-Congress and 1-3 BJP, the C-Voter survey gave 54 to the TRS and 53 to the Congress-TDP alliance and 5 to the BJP. The state has a 119-member Assembly.
The small state of Mizoram is set to go to the Mizo National Front with the ruling Congress losing out with a very small margin. The Republic C-Voter exit poll gave the Congress 14-18, the MNF 16-20 while the Times Now-CNX gave the Congress 16 and MNF 18. On similar lines, India Today/Axis gave the Congress 8-12 seats and the MNF 16-22 seats.