Exit Polls Pre­dict Re­al­ity Check for BJP, Hope for Cong

Anti-in­cum­bency in BJP-ruled states of MP, Ch­hat­tis­garh & Ra­jasthan; KCR set to take Te­lan­gana

The Economic Times - - Front Page -

Our Po­lit­i­cal Bureau

New Delhi: The exit poll pre­dic­tions of prom­i­nent agen­cies showed strong anti-in­cum­bency in BJP-ruled states, with ri­val Congress run­ning neck and neck with the saf­fron party in Mad­hya Pradesh and Ch­hat­tis­garh while lead­ing the race in Ra­jasthan.

In Te­lan­gana, how­ever, in­cum­bent chief min­is­ter K Chan­drashekhar Rao’s Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi seemed com­fort­ably placed to re­tain the state de­spite the al­liance be­tween Congress and Tel­ugu De­sam Party (TDP).

Exit poll re­sults of Times Now-CNX, CVoter, In­dia To­day-My Axis and ABP News-Lokniti-CSDS for four of the five states that went to polls showed a close elec­tion in MP, with dif­fer­ent agen­cies pro­ject­ing dif­fer­ent out­comes.

While the Times Now-CNX sur­vey showed BJP form­ing the gov­ern­ment in Mad­hya Pradesh with 126 seats to Congress’ 89 in the 230-strong Assem­bly, ABP News-Lokniti-CSDS put Congress ahead with 126 seats, giv­ing BJP just 94. The half­way mark is 116.

The CVoter sur­vey said BJP will get108- 128 seats and Congress 95-115 while In­dia To­day-My Axis pre­dicted 102-120 seats for BJP and 104-122 seats for Congress.

The CVoter poll showed no clear win­ner in Ch­hat­tis­garh, with BJP get­ting 35-42 seats and Congress 42-50. In­dia To­day-My Axis said Congress will win with 55-65 seats in the 90-mem­ber Assem­bly while Times Now-CNX showed BJP scrap­ing through with 46 seats.

The trend, if con­firmed by the fi­nal re­sults on De­cem­ber 11, shows strong anti-in­cum­bency against BJP in the three states of MP, Ch­hat­tis­garh and Ra­jasthan. The party has been in power for 15 years in MP and Ch­hat­tis­garh, and voices of a vote for change were heard of­ten dur­ing the cam­paign.

The exit polls seemed to con­firm the two-decade trend of Ra­jasthan vot­ing out the in­cum­bent gov­ern­ment.

The fi­nal out­come will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the 2019 Lok Sabha elec­tions in these states where BJP had done ex­ceed­ingly well in 2014. These trends prom­ise a shot in the arm for Congress, which is BJP’s main po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­sary at the na­tional level. The Grand Old Party has not de­feated BJP in a di­rect con­test in any state elec­tion since 2014.

Congress gen­eral sec­re­tary and the party’s key leader in Ra­jasthan, Ashok Gehlot, was up­beat about the exit poll pre­dic­tions. “The exit polls are show­ing what we ex­pected and my pre­dic­tion is that BJP will be stopped at around 50 seats in Ra­jasthan. There is a lot of anger against Va­sund­hara Raje in the state as in the past five years she has not done any work. That anger is get­ting re­flected in votes.”

BJP will, how­ever, count for a come­back on the per­cep­tion that de­spite any prob­a­ble re­ver­sals on De­cem­ber 11, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi con­tin­ues to be a pop­u­lar fig­ure. This gives the saf­fron party hope that it still has a healthy chance of form­ing a gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre in 2019, said po­lit­i­cal ob­servers.

BJP spokesper­son GVL Narasimha Rao told ET that the exit polls have pro­jected “all pos­si­ble out­comes” and thus have not likely cap­tured the real mood of the peo­ple.

“BJP is con­fi­dent of re­tain­ing power in the three states and will sub­stan­tially im­prove its per­for­mance in Te­lan­gana and Mi­zo­ram. Dif­fer­ent exit polls have pro­jected dif­fer­ent out­comes and the statu­tory warn­ing here is that the polls should be taken with a pinch of salt. The party is ex­pect­ing fan­tas­tic re­sults,” he said.

While BJP lead­ers con­tinue to ex­ude op­ti­mism, a re­think on the strat­egy and the road ahead will have to be un­der­taken by the rul­ing party if the fi­nal out­comes match the exit poll re­sults, said po­lit­i­cal ob­servers. In Te­lan­gana, KCR’s gam­ble of ad­vanc­ing the Assem­bly polls to avoid any shadow of the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions seems to have worked. All exit polls show the party form­ing the gov­ern­ment in the state.

Congress’ plans of boost­ing its prospects by form­ing an al­liance with TDP seem to have back­fired as all exit polls showed the com­bine far­ing poorly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.