Narendra Modi is set to return as chief minister of Gujarat but will be hanging to power by a sliver of a majority — if you believe the exit polls.
Between 63 and 65 per cent of voters turned out in the second and final phase of polling for 95 seats in the 182-member state assembly on Sunday.
None of the surveys carried out by TV channels, research bodies and a daily newspaper gave the BJP more than 110 seats — a comedown from the brute-majority 127 seats it got in 2002. The lowest estimate put its tally at 73, well short of the halfway mark.
It is important not to lose sight of the fact, however, that exit poll predictions in India have frequently gone completely wrong.
Hours after the close of voting, Modi said his party would achieve a “historic victory” on its “development plank”, but refused to give any numbers. “I am getting an absolute majority. It is going to be a historic victory,” Modi told the Hindustan Times from Ahmedabad.
He said his success lay in drawing people out on the positive issue of development. “It required a lot of courage to fight the election on development issues. It’s a happy sign for the country that the people of Gujarat have responded so overwhelmingly,” he said.
NDTV, which surveyed 18,100 voters in 61 constituencies, predicted the BJP would win 90-110 seats, the Congress 70-95, and others 3-5.
CNN-IBN surveyed over 9,000 voters in 60 constituencies and predicted 92-100 seats for the BJP, 77-85 for the Congress, and 3-7 for others.
Star News predicted 103 seats for the BJP and 76 for the Congress. Zee-owned Taleem Research Foundation gave the BJP 101 seats and Congress 74.