The BJP-led NDA will have a slight edge over the grand alliance in the Bihar assembly elections, the NDTV exit poll predicted on Friday, a day after other television exit polls said the race for state’s top job was too close to call.
The NDTV exit poll gave 120-130 seats to the NDA, 105-115 to the grand alliance and 5-10 to ‘Others’ after analysing a sample of 76,000 voters.
On Thursday, three exit polls -- NewsX-CNX, ABP-Nielsen and News Nation -- predicted chief minister Nitish Kumar could get a majority by a slender margin. Times Now- C Voter said a photo finish was likely with an edge for the Kumar-led Grand Alliance. India Today-Cicero forecast a hung assembly with the BJP ahead.
Only News 24-Today’s Chanakya – which came closest to predicting the outcome of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections – said the BJP-led coalition was headed for a comfortable victory with 155 seats.
The polls were bitterly fought between the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance and the NDA - comprising the BJP, Lok Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha.
The Bihar assembly election is seen as an indicator of the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who led the NDA campaign. The alliance did not project a chief ministerial candidate during the campaign, deciding instead to peg its chances on Modi’s popularity.
The campaign was highly polarised, with the BJP bringing up issues like cow slaughter and chief minister Kumar pitching it as a Bihar vs Bahari( outsider) contest.