Exit polls predict a photo finish
STATE ELECTIONS Rajasthan called in favour of Congress; C’garh, MP see tight race; TRS expected to bag Telangana and MNF Mizoram
NEW DELHI: The electoral race is tantalisingly poised in the politically crucial Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are locked in a neck-and-neck contest, with the latter having the edge in Rajasthan, according to exit polls published on Friday after the conclusion of voting in the last round of state elections before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has an advantage in Telangana in the south, and Zoramthanga’s opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) may edge past the Congress in Christianmajority Mizoram, showed the polls published after voting drew to a close on Friday in Telangana and Rajasthan.
Exit polls are conducted just after a voter walks out of the polling booth after casting his or her vote. They are aimed at predicting the result of an election on the basis of information collected from voters. To be sure, results of elections in India can be extremely hard to predict and there have been instances where pollsters have been spectacu-
larly off the mark in making the treacherous conversion from projected vote share to seat share numbers.
Assembly polls to these five states — billed as the semi-finals ahead of next year’s general elections — were held in a nearly month-long cycle beginning on November 12. The results will be announced after the votes are counted on December 11.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah at the vanguard of its campaign,is trying to win power for a fourth straight term in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and trying to retain Rajasthan.
Rajasthan has a tradition of alternating between the ruling party and the main opposition, which this time is the Congress.
The Congress, whose campaign was spearheaded in all states by party president Rahul Gandhi, is hoping to benefit from an anti-incumbency vote in Rajasthan against the government of chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
A man shows his inked finger after voting in Hyderabad, Telangana; 119 constituencies from the state went to polls.