A hung Assembly stares at Mizoram, where the incumbent MNF may score well but not well enough to form a government
New Delhi: It appears two-all for the Congress and the BJP in the semi-finals of the election match. The exit polls in the five states have predicted a close contest between the Congress and the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and an advantage for the Congress in Chhattisgarh and Telangana. In Rajasthan, the exit polls indicate the continuation of the revolving door phenomenon, with the exit of the Congress and the BJP having a strong possibility of forming a government. However, a hung Assembly stares at Mizoram, where the incumbent MNF may score well but not well enough to form a government.
The Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram are seen as a semi-final to the big match -- the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
NDTV's poll of exit polls suggested a win for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The Congress, it said, will get Chhattisgarh and Telangana while Mizoram may get a hung Assembly. In Mizoram, according to the news channel, the MNF might settle with 14 seats, the ZPM can secure 17 seats and the Congress can play a game changer in the state and is expected to win 7 seats.
Dismissing the exit poll predictions, Telangana chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said his party will be back with a win on over 70 seats. "I promise you, for those of you who are friends of the BRS and want KCR to come back... I promise you that on December 3, we are coming back. We are coming back with anywhere above 70 seats," he said.
In Madhya Pradesh, where 230 seats are under contest, five pollsters out of nine projected the Congress' win, but the NDTV’s poll of polls suggested a BJP win.
India Today-Axis My Poll and India TV-CNX said the BJP will be way above the halfway mark of 116. While India Today-Axis My Poll gave the BJP 140–162, saying Shivraj Singh Chauhan hasn’t lost his charm and remains the most preferred chief minister, it gave 68–90 seats to the Congress.
Similarly, India TV-CNX predicted 140–159 for the BJP and 70–89 for the Congress. However, the ABP News C-Voter polls predicted a win for the Congress, with the party getting 113–137 seats and the BJP 88–112.
Jan ki Baat played safe as it predicted 102-125 for the Congress and anything between 100-123 seats for the BJP. Interestingly, MP’s highest circulation newspaper, Dainik Bhaskar, had a completely different take. The only print group to conduct exit polls said the BJP in MP will not even cross the halfway mark and will get around 95–115 seats, while it gave the Congress a better chance with 105–120 seats.
In Rajasthan, where voting took place for 199 Assembly seats out of 200 and the target at present is 100, seven out of ten exit polls have indicated a BJP government formation. It appears that in-fighting between Congress chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot may cost the party dearly, as Mr Gehlot may not be able to break the revolving door phenomenon in the state.
However, with close contests here, other parties like the BSP and the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party are going to play an important role in government formations. The India Today-Axis My Poll has predicted 86–106 for the Congress and 80–100 for the BJP, while the other parties will bag 9–10 seats. Jan ki Baat has predicted 100–122 for the BJP, 62–85 for the Congress and 14–15 for others. Dainik Bhaskar has predicted 98–105 for the BJP, 85–95 for the Congress and 10-15 for others.
In Chhattisgarh, where there are 90 Assembly seats, though the pollsters have played safe by terming it a close contest, the numbers favour the Congress marginally. The halfway mark in the state Assembly is 46. All nine out of nine exit polls plus the NDTV’s overall average predict a victory for the Congress.
The India Today-Axis My India Polls has predicted 40–50 seats for the Congress here and 36–46 for the BJP. It said incumbent chief minister Bhupesh Baghel remains the preferred choice for the chief minister's post. Dainik Bhaskar has given 46-55 to the Congress and 35-45 to the BJP.
Telangana, with 119 seats, is witnessing a triangular fight between the BRS, the Congress and the BJP. All exit polls predicted higher chances for the Congress to form a government in the state. But for TV9 Bharatvarsh, others claimed that the Congress is expected to easily cross the halfway mark of 60 seats.
However, it is Mizoram, which has 40 Assembly seats, where maximum drama is expected. Here the exit polls are predicting a hung Assembly but a better situation for the six-party alliance ZPM.
Outgoing chief minister Zoramthanga's Mizo National Front (MNF) had predicted there will be no hung Assembly and his party will be back in power. He even snapped ties with the BJP prior to the Assembly elections to neutralise any negative sentiments due to the Manipur crisis. The MNF is in contest with the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and the Congress, which is fighting hard to make a comeback.
The ZPM is looking strong but will still need support to form a government. Though Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had termed the MNF-ZPM entry points for the RSS and the BJP in the state, the Congress may have to back either of the two for a seat at the table.