As the last phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh ends, the exit polls for five states, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa have started to pour out. The elections for the five states were held between February 10 and March 7.
As of now, the BJP is in power in Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Uttarakhand while the Congress is in power in Punjab. While some states look like they will retain the current dispensation, others might be showing winds of change. As per early trends, the BJP seems to be winning Uttar Pradesh while AAP is sweeping Punjab. There is still stiff neck-to-neck competition in Uttarakhand and Goa. While exit polls are not always accurate, here's what the current predictions look for the five poll states.
The voting for the country’s largest state-Uttar Pradesh was held in seven phases. The state has a 403-member assembly. Over 54 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 5 pm in the seventh and last phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for 54 seats on Monday. Like previous years, exit polls are predicting a big win for BJP this year too. Exit polls are predicting a clear victory for the Yogi Adityanath-led government. According to NDTV, an aggregate of four exit polls is predicting that the BJP will win 231 of the 403 seats. Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav and BJP's main rival is being projected to win 140 plus seats. The majority mark is 202 in UP.
The voting for Punjab's 117-member assembly took place in two phases. In Punjab, there is a three-way fight between the ruling Congress, BJP and APP which has been growing its footprint in the state. According to India Today's preliminary exit polls, AAP is leading with 70-90 seats while Congress under CM Charanjit Singh Channi is trailing with just 19-31 projected seats. A party will reach a majority at 59 seats.
Not just the one exit poll, a total of five exit polls predict an AAP victory. An aggregate of five exit polls gave AAP 68 seats. The News24-Today's Chanakya exit poll has predicted a landslide victory for AAP in Punjab with 100 seats. While the exit polls show a big loss for Congress, the BJP remains a minor player with former ally Akali Dal projected to win 18 seats, NDTV reported. If AAP wins, this would be the Arvind Kejriwal-led party's first big win outside of Delhi. The party supporters became confident after its last poll performance in Punjab and may end up benefitting from the infighting within Punjab Congress.
As per the exit polls, the competition is stiff in Uttarakhand between the BJP and the Congress party. According to predictions by Times Now, the ruling BJP will win 37 seats while the Congress is expected to win 31. The hill state of Uttarakhand has a total of 70 seats. India Today predicts the BJP will win anywhere between 36-46 seats in the state. Meanwhile, ABP News's exit poll has given Congress an edge with 32-38 seats over 26-32 seats for BJP.
Goa's 40-member assembly elections were held in a single phase. The Congress seems to be leading in exit polls in Goa, which is currently being ruled by a BJP government. The Congress is expected to win 16 seats in Goa as opposed to BJP with 11 seats, the Times Now poll predicts. Polls, however, show a tight fight between the BJP and Congress in Goa. According to the NDTV, aggregation of exit polls shows that the BJP may win 18 seats while Congress will get 15. In either case, both parties are failing to meet the 21-mark needed to form the government. In 2017, Congress had failed to form government in the state despite winning a majority.
The polling for other states including Manipur, which has a 60-member assembly was held in two phases. The election is a test for the N Biren Singh-led government which came to power in 2017, forming the first BJP government in the north-eastern state. According to the India Today exit poll, BJP will get 33-43 seats in the state. The exit poll predicts 4-8 seats for the Congress, 4-8 seats for the NPP and 4-8 seats for the NPF. In Manipur, Congress had accused the BJP government of violating the model code of conduct to influence elections. Congress has accused BJP of releasing Rs 17 crore to banned militant groups, including Kuki National Organisation( KNO), which are under suspension of operation agreement. Meanwhile, the repolling of six booths in two districts of Manipur is scheduled for March 8 after the voting was considered void in these booths following polls violence on March 5.
(More details of the exit polls will be updated shortly.)