New Delhi: Exit polls on Thursday gave varied predictions in the poll-bound states, giving an advantage to the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, a clear edge to Congress in Chhattisgarh and Telangana and that the ruling MNF was ahead in the power sweepstakes in Mizoram.
While the exit polls were almost unanimous in giving an edge to Congress in Telangana, where polling concluded on Thursday, a few predicted a close call in Rajasthan with Congress too in the lead and an exit poll gave a little edge to the party in Madhya Pradesh too. A poll predicted that the Zoram People's Movement would win decisively in Mizoram.
The outcome of exit polls was released after the conclusion of polls in Telangana. If Congress is able to retain Rajasthan along with Chhattisgarh and oust the ruling BRS from Telangana, it will be a major morale-booster for the party.
Five states went to the polls this month with counting slated for December 3.
The polling in five states that are in northern, eastern and southern parts of the country, came months before the next Lok Sabha polls.
Exit polls predicted that Congress is poised to form government in Telangana and that the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) would fall short of the majority after its 10-year rule in India's youngest state.
The polling for the 119-member Telangana assembly was held on Thursday. The Times Now-ETG exit poll gave 38 per cent vote share to BRS, 43 per cent to Congress and 13 per cent to others in Telangana. It said the ruling party in the state is poised to win 37-45 seats, Congress 60-70 seats, BJP 6-8 and others 5-7 seats. Republic TV exit poll gave Congress 58-69 seats and the BRS 46-56 seats. It said BJP could win 4 to 9 seats and others 5 to 8 seats.
The poll predicted a 41.60 per cent vote share for BRS, 43.30 per cent for Congress, 10.80 per cent for BJP and 4.30 for others. The India TV-CNX exit poll predicted 63-79 seats for the Congress, 31-47 for the BRS, 0-2 for the BJP and 5-7 for others. According to Jan ki Baat poll, Congress is poised to win 48 to 64 seats in Telangana.
It said BRS could win 40 to 55 seats and BJP 7 to 13 seats. Telangana recorded a voter turnout of 70.28 per cent. The exit polls said that two regional players in Mizoram - MNF and ZPM - are in the race to form government in Mizoram with most predictions stating that the ruling party led by Chief Minister Zoramthanga has an advantage in the northeastern state while there is also a possibility of a hung assembly.
Mizoram went to the polls on November 7 for its 40-member assembly. The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) faced a challenge from the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), Congress and BJP.
According to India Today-Axis My India poll predictions for Mizoram, the Zoram People's Movement is poised for a massive victory in Mizoram and could win 28-35 seats. It said the ruling MNF is expected to win 3 to 7 seats. MNF, the poll said, will get 27 per cent votes and ZPM 49 per cent votes.
Congress is poised to get 20 per cent votes, the exit poll said. Times Now-ETG poll gave 14-18 seats to MNF with 32.20 per cent vote share, 10-14 to ZPM with 29.30 per cent votes and said that Congress is expected to get 9-13 seats with 27.80 per cent vote share. Jan Ki Baat poll gave 10-14 seats to MNF with a vote share of 22 per cent, 15-25 seats to ZPM with a vote share of 40 per cent and predicted that Congress will get 30 per cent votes and 5-9 seats.
India TV-CNX poll predicted 14-18 seats for MNF and 12-16 seats for ZPM. It said Congress is expected to get 7-10 seats.' Republic TV gave a 32.60 per cent vote share to the MNF, 14.60 per cent to ZPM and 31.20 per cent to Congress. It gave 17-22 seats to MNF, 7-12 to ZPM, Congress to get 7-10 seats and one seat to BJP. P-Marq poll said that MNF will win 14-20 seats, ZPM 9-15 seats, Congress 7-13 seats and others 0-2 seats.
In Madhya Pradesh, most exit polls said that BJP has a clear advantage as they predicted Congress falling short in its poll effort in the state where it was expecting to gain from "anti-incumbency" against the government. Most exit polls predicted that the BJP, which has ruled the state for almost 18 of the past 20 years, is set for another term in office with a huge majority.
An exit poll gave advantage to the Congress and another predicted that the two parties were on an equal footing. Madhya Pradesh went to the polls on November 17 for its 230 seats and the counting of votes along with that in four other states will take place on December 3.
According to India Today-Axis My India prediction, the BJP will retain power in Madhya Pradesh by bagging 47 per cent vote share and 140-162 seats. It said Congress is likely to get 60-90 seats with a 41 per cent vote share. Others are expected to get 12 per cent votes and 0-3 seats.
According to the India TV-CNX poll, BJP is poised to get 48 per cent votes, Congress 38 per cent and others 16 per cent. The poll predicted 140-159 seats for BJP, 70-89 seats for Congress and 0-2 for others.
The Times Now-ETG gave 43.83 per cent vote share to BJP, 42.23 per cent to Congress and 13.94 per cent to others. It said the ruling party in the state is poised to win 105-117 seats, Congress 109-125 seats and others 1-5 seats.
Republic TV gave a 43.4 per cent vote share to the BJP, 41.7 per cent to Congress and 14.9 per cent to others. It gave 118-130 seats to BJP, 97-107 to Congress and 0-2 polls for others. The poll done by Today's Chanakya predicted Congress getting 74-86 seats in Madhya Pradesh with 38 per cent vote share and BJP getting 151-163 seats with 45 per cent vote share. It said others are likely to have 17 per cent vote share and 5-9 seats.
In Rajsathan, exit polls reinforced the perception of a hard contest with differences in their prediction of the winner in the crucial Hindi heartland state that has a nearly three-decade tradition of not repeating an incumbent government.
The exit poll predictions showed that "others" including smaller parties and independents could play a crucial role in the formation of the government when the results are announced on December 3.
Rajasthan went to the polls on 199 of 200 assembly seats on November 25. The Congress government in the state led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot unleashed a series of populist schemes closer to the assembly election to ward off the challenge from the BJP.
According to India Today-Axis My India poll, Congress is poised to get 86-106 seats in Rajasthan with 42 per cent votes and BJP 80-100 seats with 41 per cent vote support.
Others are poised to seven per cent votes and 9-18 seats. India TV-CNX poll predicted 94-104 seats for Congress with 43 per cent votes and 80-90 seats for BJP with 42 per cent vote share. It said 'others' are expected to get 15 per cent votes and 14-18 seats.
Times Now-ETG poll gave 56-72 seats to Congress with 38.98 per cent vote share, 108-128 to BJP with 41.88 per cent votes and others expected to get 13-21 seats with a sizeable 19.14 per cent vote share.' The Jan Ki Baat poll gave 100-122 seats to BJP with vote share of 44 per cent, 62-85 seats to Congress with a vote share of 41 per cent and predicted that others will get 15 per cent votes and 14-15 seats.
The P-Marq poll said BJP will win 105-125 seats in Rajasthan with 42.2 per cent vote share and Congress 69-81 seats with 39.7 per cent votes.
It said others are poised to get 5-15 seats with 18.1 per cent vote, it said. In Chhattisgarh, exit polls gave Congress a clear edge, showing that the ruling party in the state is poised to return to power with the BJP also expected to put up a good contest unlike in the 2018 polls.
While three polls predicted a clear victory of Congress in the state, others said that the party was in the winning range. The Congress fought the election with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel at the helm. According to ABP C-Voter predictions, Congress is poised to win 41-53 seats in the state which has a 90-member assembly.
The exit poll said BJP is poised to get 36-48 seats and others 0-4 seats. The India Today-Axis My India poll predicted Congress getting 40-50 seats, BJP 36-46 seats and others getting 1-5 seats. The Republic TV exit poll gave Congress 44-52 seats, BJP 34-42 seats and 0-2 polls for others.
India TV-CNX poll predicted 46- 56 seats for Congress, 30-40 seats for BJP and 3-5 for others. The numbers for Congress and BJP in the Jan Ki Baat exit poll were 42-53 and 34-45 respectively and it predicted 0-3 seats for others.
The P-Marq poll said Congress is poised to win 46-54 seats with 44.6 per cent vote, BJP 35-42 seats with 42.9 per cent vote and others will get 0-2 seats with 12.5 per cent votes.
The poll done by Today's Chanakya predicted that Congress will get 57-66 seats in Chhattisgarh with BJP getting 33-42 seats with 0-3 seats going to the others. Counting in four other states that went to the polls this month will also take place on December 3.
The polls, held months before the Lok Sabha polls, are crucial for BJP and Congress for various reasons.