Setting the stage for a pulsating Saturday when votes will be counted to decide winners of assembly elections in five states, exit polls Thursday gave the BJP a clear edge in the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh though the number of seats for the party swung wildly.
Setting the stage for a pulsating Saturday when votes will be counted to decide winners of assembly elections in five states, exit polls Thursday gave the BJP a clear edge in the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh though the number of seats for the party swung wildly. In Punjab, all polls predicted the exit of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance and a neck-and-neck fight between the Congress and AAP.
In Uttar Pradesh, at least five polls predicted that the BJP would emerge as the single largest party and may come close to the halfway mark of 202 in a House of 403, if it does not get a clear majority along with its allies. Two exit polls predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP, with one estimating that it could get as many as 285 seats.
The SP-Congress alliance was predicted to be in the second spot. The BSP was way behind, its seat count under under 100. Two exit polls placed the SP-Congress close behind the BJP in the number of seats, but said they may be 50 seats short of a majority.
Making it bittersweet, exit polls also suggested that the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal, the lead player in the Punjab alliance, may be wiped out in the state, some giving them less than 10 seats. Two exit polls projected a tight contest between the Congress and AAP, giving both parties an equal number of seats. According to these polls, both Congress and AAP may get over 50 seats each, short of the 59 seats needed in the House of 117.
According to the exit polls, the BJP may be able to have its chief ministers in Uttarakhand and Goa too but the Congress is not far behind in both states. A handful of seats there could change the outcome. The AAP, according to the exit polls, may not get even half a dozen seats in the Goa House of 40.
As the exit poll results started coming in, Ravidas Mehrotra, family welfare minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government who contested from the Lucknow central assembly seat, spoke out against the party’s alliance with the Congress, maintaining that going along with the Congress would cost the SP dearly.
He alleged that Congress candidates contesting against SP candidates on some of the seats “sabotaged” the elections even if it meant making things simpler for other parties including BJP.
“This is my personal opinion that we had to suffer because of the alliance. It might benefit Congress but it did not help Samajwadi Party. Instead, Congress rebel candidates contesting on seats, which were given to Samajwadi Party, sabotaged the election,” Mehrotra said. The sitting SP MLA from Lucknow Central, Mehrotra was made minister of family welfare. In spite of the alliance, the Congress gave the ticket to its candidate Maroof Khan. While Akhilesh had given the party symbol to Mehrotra, the Congress gave its symbol to Maroof. None of them withdrew their nominations.