Exit polls pre­dict a photo fin­ish

Ra­jasthan called in favour of Congress; C’garh, MP see tight race; TRS ex­pected to bag Te­lan­gana and MNF Mi­zo­ram

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents

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 spec­tac­u­larly 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.

CON­TIN­UED ON P 11 ››FULL COV­ER­AGE, P9

AP

A man shows his inked finger af­ter vot­ing in Hyderabad, Te­lan­gana; 119 con­stituen­cies from the state went to polls.

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