Exit Polls See Cong Knockout in Lok Sabha Semi-final Bout
By Pratul Sharma | Published: 05th December 2013 10:21 AM |
It was billed as the semi-final match before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and a litmus test for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. If the verdict of the exit polls conducted by leading TV channels is any indication, the BJP is the clear winner in four key states — Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The exit poll results beamed on news channels showed the BJP retaining Madhya Pradesh with a clear majority and hoping to win a cliffhanger in Chhattisgarh. The Congress appeared to be facing the biggest upset in Rajasthan, where Vasundhra Raje-led BJP is predicted to oust Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot with a thumping majority. In Delhi, the BJP is expected to emerge as the single largest party, within striking distance of the majority mark, in a triangular fight, with the Congress and debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The elections saw high turnout in all four states that went to polls during November–December, crossing 70 per cent voting. The counting of votes will be held on Sunday. Votes polled in Mizoram will be counted on Monday.
Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have a pro-incumbency factor working in favour of the BJP while anti-incumbency is working against Congress chief ministers in Rajasthan and Delhi. In the national capital, the polling time was extended by over four hours to accommodate a last-minute surge in voters. The exit polls conducted till 5 pm showed the BJP emerging as the single-largest party. It may, however, fall short of the half-way mark of 35. The AAP may become a formidable entity by securing the same number of seats as the Congress, according to the ABP-AC Nielsen survey.
In MP, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan appeared to be emerging as the clear third-time winner, maintaining his majority, despite the Congress showing marginal improvement.
In Chhattisgarh, the exit polls showed Chief Minister Raman Singh scraping through the half-way mark of 45.