According to exit polls, the BJP will sweep the assembly polls in four of the five states where elections were held. Congress may retain power in Mizoram.
Congress is projected to lose Delhi and Rajasthan while the BJP will continue to rule Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Congress leaders will have to review and revise their poll strategy to avoid a similar outcome five months down the line in the Lok Sabha elections.
In Rajasthan, with the halfway mark for the state assembly at 100 to form the government, the average of various exit polls show the BJP winning 138 seats and the Congress just 44. Some, however, show the BJP tally stopping at 110.
In Chhattisgarh, the fight will be neck and neck with the ruling BJP winning 44 seats and the Congress 33. One exit poll claimed the BJP will increase its last poll tally by three seats to touch 53 and the Congress would win 33 seats, down by five.
No exit poll, however, denied that chief minister Raman Singh-led BJP government is returning for a third straight term. The halfway mark being 45, the average of the exit polls shows the BJP getting 50 and the Congress 37.
This will also be seen by the BJP as an endorsement of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. And Modi’s meteoric rise on the national scene is sure to gain momentum with the fillip that these victories would give the controversial and charismatic Gujarat chief minister. Of course, this would depend on what the actual results are (to be declared on Sunday, Dec 8).
Congress is certainly on the backfoot even as its spokespersons question the accuracy of exit polls because they are able to gauge the mood of the people in large parts of northern India.
Whether this is an indication for the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 will be a matter of speculation. But the BJP can take heart that it is a clear pointer to the anger of the people across much of north India against the scam-riddled and corruption-tainted UPA government, led by the Congress.
Polling in the national capital closed on Wednesday evening with a record 67%, less than in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where the polling was above 70%. Mizoram recorded 81%. Exit polls conducted by various TV channels, news magazines and pollsters indicate Congress is going to be decisively dethroned in Delhi, ending chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s 15-year successful run.
In Madhya Pradesh, the India TV C-Voter poll projects a BJP victory with a reduced majority. The ruling party is predicted to win 128 seats out of 230, coming down from 140, and the Congress going up from 71 to 92. In Chhattisgarh, the BJP is falling two short of simple majority, and it is slated to win decisively in Rajasthan.
In Mizoram, the Congress is two short of simple majority in a house of 40. The ABP-Nielsen exit poll shows the BJP to be a clear and easy winner in the four states.