Uttaranchal Congress may be voted out
Once again, voters reject the ruling Govt, report Sanjay Kumar, Rajeeva Karandikar and Yogendra Yadav.delhi Updated:
It’s a vote of no confidence against the ruling Congress government in Uttarakhand. For the second time in succession, the voters of this new state appear to have rejected the incumbent government.
The HT-CNN/IBN exit poll conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), suggests that while there is no anti-incumbency wave, there are clear indications of transfer of power.
We estimate that with 33 to 39 seats, the BJP will get a clear majority or nearly so in the new assembly. The state assembly has 70 seats, of which 69 went to polls on Tuesday.
The Congress is likely to reach a respectable tally of between 21 to 27 seats, but well short of a chance of forming the government.
This is a near reversal of the verdict in 2002 when the Congress won 36 seats to merely 19 seats for the BJP, although both the parties had about the same share of popular votes. The remaining 8 to 10 seats are likely to go to other smaller parties, mainly the UKD and the BSP.
In terms of votes, the two leading contenders are separately only by about 3 percentage points. The BJP is expected to garner about 34 per cent votes, followed by Congress with about 31 per cent. It means that both the leading parties have gained over the last elections, largely at the expense of independents and very small parties.
Parties like the UKD and the BSP were likely to play a pivotal role in this assembly election. Our exit poll shows that they have indeed done fairly well.
While the UKD has registered a significant increase in its share of popular votes to perhaps a double digit, the BSP's share of votes has marginally declined. But these votes do not translate for more seats for these parties, since both the big players have gained votes and have edged out the smaller players.
A total of 4282 voters were interviewed in 32 assembly constituencies spread across the state in this exit poll.