NEW DELHI :
SEVERAL exit polls on Monday forecast a clear majority for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab with some of them giving an edge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. Exit polls on CNN News 18, Times Now, India Today, Republic TV, News 24 and News X channels showed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) getting anywhere between 326 and 211 seats, and its main challenger Samajwadi Party-led alliance getting anywhere between 160 and 71 seats in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly. While India Today-Axis My India predicted 288-326 seats for the BJP and its partners in Uttar Pradesh and 71-101 for the SP alliance, News 24-Today’s Chankya predicted 294 seats for the NDA and 105 for the Akhilesh Yadav-led alliance. News 24-Today’s Chanakya predicted 43 per cent vote share for the BJP alliance in Uttar Pradesh and 35 per cent for the SP and its partners.
CNN News 18-Matrize predicted 262-277 seats for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies and 119-134 for the Samajwadi Party (SP) and allies in Uttar Pradesh. Times Now-Veto predicted 225 and 151 seats for them, respectively. Most of them were also unanimous in predicting a big win for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, with India Today-Axis projecting up to 76-90 seats in the 117-member assembly. A few exit polls also forecast a hung assembly in Punjab, the only poll-bound State where the Congress is in power, while giving a clear edge to the AAP. News 24-Today’s Chankaya predicted a wave in the AAP’s favour in Punjab, giving it 100 seats with a margin of 10 seats either side. It gave 43 to the BJP and 24 to the Congress in Uttarakhand. TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polstrat, however, predicted 56-61 seats for the AAP in Punjab, making it the frontrunner. The Congress was mostly predicted to be securing the second spot in Punjab. In Uttarakhand, both the Congress and the BJP were favoured by different exit polls to win the assembly polls.
The ABP News-CVoter forecast an edge for the Congress in Uttarakhand, giving the party 32-38 seats in the 70-member assembly and the BJP 26-32 seats. Goa was predicted by most pollsters to be heading for a hung assembly. The BJP was given a clear edge by most exit polls in the election to the 60-member Manipur assembly, with the Congress being seen a distant second. The BJP is in power in four of the five states. The exit polls signal that the BJP remains the dominant party in these States and indicate a big swing in the AAP’s fortunes as Kejriwal’s party is also seen to have emerged as a force in Uttarakhand and Goa where it may corner a decent poll percentage, if not many seats. Most exit polls also predicted a big fall in the fortunes of Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and a setback for the Congress, which had hoped to retain power in Punjab and make a comeback in states like Uttarakhand and Goa. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.