Exit polls: Modi wave in Guj, Cong edge in HP

High turnout con­tin­ues in 2nd phase of Guj polls

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE - Mahesh Langa & Na­gen­dar Sharma let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Con­tin­u­ing the high turnout trend of the first phase, about 69% of the 19.8 mil­lion electors in the sec­ond and fi­nal phase of the Gu­jarat poll came out to vote on Mon­day, de­cid­ing on whether it would be a hat trick by chief min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi or re­turn of the Congress af­ter 22 years.

How­ever, exit polls tele­cast on var­i­ous news chan­nels on Mon­day pre­dicted that Modi is set for a land­slide vic­tory for the third time in Gu­jarat while the Congress ap­pears to have an edge in Hi­machal Pradesh that went to the polls on Novem­ber 4.

All the polls were unan­i­mous in their fore­casts on Modi-led BJP’s vic­tory and some even pre­dicted a re­duced tally for the Congress. The elec­tion re­sults for both the states will be de­clared on Thurs­day.

In Gu­jarat, tak­ing the 70.75% vot­ing in the first phase, the over­all turnout is likely to cross 70%, a rise of around 9% from the pre­vi­ous polls in 2007.

While in the sec­ond phase of the Gu­jarat poll, there were 820 can­di­dates for 95 seats in 12 dis­tricts in cen­tral and north Gu­jarat and the Kutch, the first phase cov­ered 87 seats in Saurash­tra, south Gu­jarat and Ahmed­abad ru­ral on De­cem­ber 13.

The BJP fielded can­di­dates in all the 95 con­stituen­cies, while the Congress is con­test­ing in 92. The Gu­jarat Pari­var­tan Party of former chief min­is­ter Keshub­hai Pa­tel, who broke away from the BJP, and the BSP are con­test­ing 84 seats each. There are also 284 in­de­pen­dents in the fray.

Be­sides Modi, top BJP lead­ers LK Ad­vani and Arun Jait­ley also cast their votes in Ahmed­abad. The prom­i­nent can­di­dates in the sec­ond phase in­clude Modi, former CM and Gu­jarat Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela and more than a dozen min­is­ters of the Modi cab­i­net.

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