NEW DELHI: The BJP for the first time will emerge as the single largest party in Maharashtra and Haryana, if the outcome of the exit polls is anything to go by. In both the states, three exit polls projected victory for the BJP and defeat for the ruling Congress. The regional parties in both states — Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana — emerge runner-ups ahead of the Congress, which might be relegated to a distant third position, according to the exit polls. It’s again ‘Modi magic’ which seems to be doing wonders for the BJP. If the exit polls are proven correct, the party will emerge as the biggest national party with a pan-India presence, replacing the Congress.
Among the surveys, only News24-Today’s Chanakya gave BJP a clear majority in both states — 151 of 288 seats in Maharashtra and 52 of 90 in Haryana. ABP News-Nielsen and C Voter projected BJP as the single largest party in both Maharashtra and Haryana. While the former gave the BJP 127 seats in Maharashtra, CVoter predicted a 136-seat win for the party. In Haryana, ABP News-Nielsen projected 46 seats for the BJP and CVoter gave the party 37 seats. If the exit polls are right, BJP will form its first government in Haryana.
In Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has been given 71, 77 and 56 seats by Chanakya, Nielsen and CVoter respectively. The Congress, led by Prithviraj Chavan, is predicted to come down from 40 seats in the last elections to 10 seats as per Nielsen, 15 as per CVoter and 10 as per Chanakya. Once-powerful Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar’s NCP is languishing at the bottom of the pile, counting out Raj Thackeray’s MNS. While Chanakya predicts 15 seats for the NCP, CVoter gives it 12 and Nielsen 34. Several allegations of corruption against its leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar seem to have done the NCP in.
In Haryana, Om Prakash Chautala’s INLD has been given 33 seats in the Nielsen exit poll while CVoter and Chanakya give it 28 and 23 seats respectively. As per the estimates, the Congress, led by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, will be washed out, managing only between 10 and 20 seats.
In the multi-cornered contest, the BJP was seen having the Narendra Modi edge over the rest. The Modi-Amit Shah duo appears to have become an invincible combination in swinging elections without help from traditional allies or a well-entrenched party structure, like in Haryana.