SEVERAL exit polls on Saturday gave the RJD-led Opposition alliance in Bihar an edge over the ruling NDA while at least three of them predicted a clear majority for the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ which has projected Tejashwi Yadav as its chief ministerial face. Most of the exit polls also predicted RJD to again emerge as the single largest party in the 243-member Assembly along with a clear dip in the seat tally of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U). Counting of votes for the three-phase Bihar Assembly polls, which ended on Saturday, will be held on November 10.
Exit polls are typically based on feedback from a limited number of voters in select areas and none of them have a 100 per cent accuracy record. Today’s Chanakya-CNN News18 projected 180 seats for the RJD-led grand alliance, 55 for the NDA and eight for others. The majority mark is 122. India Today-Axis My India poll showed the RJD-led block winning 139-161 seats, as against 69-91 for the NDA. It predicted 3-5 seats for LJP and also 3-5 for others. The ABP-CVoter exit poll predicted NDA to get 104-128 seats and 108-131 seats for the opposition grand alliance. It projected Chirag Paswan-led LJP to get 1-3 seats. A similar trend was predicted by Times Now-CVoter, which projected 116 seats for the NDA, 120 for the Opposition alliance and a single seat for the LJP. It predicted six seats for others. Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat exit poll also gave a clear majority to the RJD-led alliance with 128 seats, while it projected 104 seats for the ruling NDA, seven seats for LJP and four for others.
TV9 Bharatvarsh projected NDA to win 115 seats, the grand alliance 120 and four each for LJP and others. In terms of vote share, Today’s Chanakya projected 44 per cent for the RJD-led opposition alliance and 34 per cent for the NDA. However, ABP-CVoter projected a higher vote share for NDA at 37.7 per cent followed by the grand alliance with 36.3 per cent and 26 per cent for others. India Today-Axis My India poll showed 44 per cent of respondents prefer Tejashwi Yadav as the next Chief Minister, while 35 per cent would like to give another chance to Nitish Kumar.
It projected 44 per cent vote share for the RJD-led alliance and 39 per cent for the NDA. In the last Assembly elections held in 2015, the RJD had won 80 seats with a vote share of 18 per cent, while JD(U) won 71 seats with vote share of 11 per cent. The BJP had won 53 seats with 24 per cent vote share and Congress had 27 seats and seven per cent votes. At that time, the JD(U) had fought the election in alliance with RJD and Congress among other parties, while LJP was in the BJP-led NDA alliance. LJP had got two seats with five per cent vote share.
This time, JD(U) is back in the NDA, while LJP fought the election alone. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when both JD(U) and LJP were in the NDA, the alliance had won 39 out of 40 seats in the State. Exit polls also predicted results for by-polls held in several States. According to India Today-Axis My India exit poll, the BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh will survive as it projected the party to win 16-18 seats, and Congress is estimated to bag 10-12 of the total 28 seats that went to polls. Similarly, for by-polls in Uttar Pradesh, the exit poll predicted BJP to win 5-6 seats, SP 1-2 seats and BSP 0-1 seat, out of the eight seats for which polling was held on November 3. In Gujarat where voting happened for eight seats on November 3, the same exit poll projected BJP to win 6-7 Assembly seats and Congress a single seat. BJP is in power in Gujarat as well as in Uttar Pradesh.
57.58% turnout in final phase of Bihar polls
THE voter turnout in the third and final phase of Bihar elections was recorded at 57.58 per cent on Saturday, more than the polling percentage witnessed in the previous two rounds, according to Election Commission data. The provisional turnout in the third phase of polling on 78 seats spread in 15 districts is 57.58 per cent, according to poll panel data updated till 8 pm.
The polling percentage will go up as more inputs from the constituencies come. According to Election Commission figures, the final voter turnout in the first phase of polling held on October 28 was 55.68 per cent, while it was 55.70 per cent in the second phase of polls held on November 3. In the first phase, 71 seats spread across 16 districts went to poll, while in the second, voters in 94 seats of 17 districts exercised their franchise on November 3. With the voting concluding for all the 243 seats, the focus now shifts to November 10 counting of votes which will give Bihar a new Government. Kishanganj district recorded the highest 59.99 per cent polling till 6 pm and Vaishali recorded the lowest at 49.97 per cent.
Presiding Officer dies of heart attack: EVEN as polling was underway on Saturday in 78 Assembly constituencies in 15 districts of Bihar, a Presiding Officer posted at a polling centre in Muzaffarpur district’s Katra Block died due to heart attack. “Presiding Officer Kedar Rai, deployed at voting centre number 190 in Katra, died of a heart attack,” an official said. He was employed with the State Irrigation Department. The body has been sent for a post-mortem. Counting of the votes will be taken up on November 10.