Voting over, exit polls show Cong win 2 states, BJP one
Close fight seen in Mizoram, TSR likely to retain Telangana; results will be declared on Tuesday
NEW DELHI/JAIPUR/HYDERABAD: As many as 72.67% of the 47 million registered voters cast their vote in Rajasthan on Friday where sporadic incidents of violence were reported, while Telangana saw a moderate voter turnout of 68.4%, the Election Commission on Friday said.
In Rajasthan, voting was held for 199 of the 200-seat assembly; election to Ramgarh seat in Alwar district was countermanded after the death of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Laxman Singh. Briefing the media after the polling, state chief electoral officer Anand Kumar said the polling percentage this time around was less than the 75.23% recorded in the 2013 polls.
He, however, clarified the polling percentage would increase as people who were already inside polling stations before 5pm had been allowed to cast their ballot, adding that postal ballots and service votes also had to be added to the percentage.
The total polling percentage in Telangana is almost the same as what was recorded in the 2014 elections, which were held along with Andhra Pradesh. While Medak recorded the highest turnout of at least 77%, Hyderabad recorded a poor turnout – 56%.
Meanwhile, exit polls have predicted a Congress win in Rajasthan while in Telangana, they favour chief minister K Chandrashekhara Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). It will, however, be a close contest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Elections were held in 5 states since last month. Votes will be counted on Tuesday (December 11). Surveys for all states were released on Friday after polling ended in Rajasthan and Telanga– na. Mizoram voted last month.
Polling was largely peaceful across Rajasthan with stray incidents of violence being reported from Alwar, Bharatpur, Churu, Sikar, Bikaner and Jaisalmer districts. Three people were injured in a clash in Churu while five were injured in Bikaner, two in Bharatpur and one in Sikar.
In Sikar and Bikaner, three vehicles were set ablaze while in Shahjahanpur in Alwar district, a para-milltary personnel opened fire to bring the situation under control. In Alwar, a brawl broke out in one of the polling booths in Palava village around 3pm and security personnel had to shoot in the air to control the situation. No one was injured in the incident.
In 13 assembly constituencies of Telangana, identified as sensitive in view of their proximity to Maoist-affected areas on the borders of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, polling closed at 4 pm itself. In these constituencies, polling was estimated to be 65-70%.
“Polling went on peacefully without any law and order problem in these constituencies. We shall take all precautions till the electronic voting machines (EVM) and other equipment reaches the strong rooms safely,” director general of police M Mahender Reddy said.
A poll conducted by Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak predicts a range of 102 to 120 seats for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, seeking a fourth straight term in the state, and 104 to 122 for the Congress. But a Times Now-CNX survey predicts a clear majority for the BJP in MP with 126 seats, while it gives the Congress 89 seats, a marked improvement over its tally in the last election but still trailing the BJP.
India TV poll gives BJP 122-130 seats against its 165 in 2013 and Congress 86-92 seats as opposed to its 58 seats in 2013. The Republic Jan Ki Baat survey predicts 108128 seats for the BJP, 95 -111 for the Congress.
Madhya Pradesh has 230 seats and the majority mark for a party to win is 116.
In neighbouring Chhattisgarh, too, the Times Now-CNX exit poll gives the BJP a majority, 46 seats, and the Congress 35. It predicts that the ambitious partnership between former Congress leader Ajit Jogi and Mayawati’s BSP will get seven seats. India TV’s survey too gives BJP the upper end of a range of 42 to 50 seats, the Congress 32 to 38, and Jogi-BSP six to eight seats.
The CVoter - Republic TV poll, however, shows a closer fight, giving BJP 35-43 seats and the Congress 40-50, while it predicted a the Jogi-BSP combine to get three to seven seats. The Axis My India - India Today and Aaj Tak poll, however, shows Congress comfortably ahead at 55-65 seats and BJP trailing at 21-31.
Almost all polls show that Maya-Jogi combine, which was hoping to play the kingmaker, would end with seats in the range of three to eight. Chhattisgarh has 90 assembly seats and a party needs 46 to form government.
In Rajasthan, two exit polls predict a Congress win. The India Today-Axis My India predicts a range of 119 to 141 seats for the Congress, good to unseat the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje; it gives the BJP 55-72 seats.
A party needs 100 seats in the 200-member assembly in Rajasthan. The Times Now-CNX survey too predicts a majority for the Congress at 105 seats, with 85 for the BJP in Rajasthan.
In Telangana, most exit polls predict a win for the TRS. The Times Now-CNX survey says TRS will be comfortably ahead of the Congress-Telugu Desam Party (TDP) combine with 66 seats. The Maha Kootami of the Congress-TDP will get 37 seats.
EVM malfunctions were reported in Rajasthan. The Congress complained to the Election Commission claiming that they received 460 complaints of EVM malfunction and the BJP leaders trying to intimidate voters, the party said in a statement.
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot said the party will sweep the polls, while chief minister Vasundhara Raje also expressed confidence saying the exit polls have gone wrong several times in the past.
TRS president and caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed confidence that his party would come back to power in Telangana, but the state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy to expressed confidence that said Maha Kootami was going to form the next government in Telangana.
The results of all five states will be declared on December 11.