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Exit polls show close contest in MP, Chhattisgarh; give Rajasthan to Congress

This round of election is seen as a semi final before the parliamentary election next summer, when prime minister Narendra Modi will seek re-election. Out of the five states where voting was held since last month, the BJP rules three, all states that contributed immensely to Modi’s majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2018 22:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Exit polls,Assembly elections 2018,Rajasthan exit polls
Women show their inked fingers after casting votes in Jaipur on Friday.(Himanshu Vyas/HT photo)

Exit polls show a close contest between the ruling BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, with the surveys predicting starkly different results. In Rajasthan, the polls predict a Congress win, a return of K Chandrashekhar Rao’s Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) in Telangana and in Mizoram, a hung assembly.

In other headlines from the exit polls, the ambitious alliance between Mayawati’s BSP and the Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh may not get many seats, but could be crucial in case of a hung assembly when no party gets a majority.

In Madhya Pradesh, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is seeking a fourth term, predictions swing from a clear majority for his party the BJP, to a clear majority for the Congress. But a Times Now- CNX survey gives the BJP 126 seats and the Congress 89, the CSDS - ABP poll gives the Congress 126 seats and the BJP 94.

The India TV poll shows the BJP ahead, while the survey by CVoter - Republic TV, News Nation, News 24 - Pace Media say advantage Congress in wide bands. Axis My India - India Today and Aaj Tak predicts a close battle.

Follow live updates here: Surveys give BJP advantage in tight race in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh

Madhya Pradesh has 230 seats and the majority mark for a party to win is 116. In 2013, the BJP returned to power with a stunning 165 seats while the Congress had won 57.

Two exit polls - CNX - Times Now and CSDS - ABP -- give neighbouring Chhattisgarh to the BJP, while Axis My India - India Today predicts a Congress win. A survey by CVoter - Republic TV , News 24-Pace Media, News Nation show an advantage for the Congress in a tight contest, while the Republic Jan Ki Baat and India TV show the BJP stronger. Their bands show the possibility of a hung house.

None of the six polls predict a significant number of seats for the Jogi-BSP alliance with the highest at 8, but in a close contest its support could make crucial difference. Chhattisgarh has 90 assembly seats and a party needs 46 to form government.

In Rajasthan, six of eight exit polls predict that the Congress will unseat Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of the BJP. Two predict a close race between the parties. A party needs 100 seats in the 200-member assembly in Rajasthan, where elections were not held on one seat because a candidate died.

In 2013, the BJP had swept Rajasthan with a two-third majority, wresting the state from the Congress by winning 163 seats, while the Congress had won only 21.

In Telangana, all five surveys show K Chandrashekhar Rao of the TRS ahead, two predicting outright that he will return to power, besting the Congress, which contested along with allies including the Telugu Desam Party led by Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The BJP is not seen making a dent.

Exit polls by CVoter - Republic TV and CNX - Times Now predict a hung house in Mizoram, the last bastion of the Congress in the north east, with an advantage for the opposition Mizo National Front. Mizoram has 40 seats and a simple majority is at 21.

Elections were held in five states since last month, votes will be counted on Tuesday, December 11. Exit polls for all states were released today after polling ended in Rajasthan and Telangana. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram had voted last month. Do remember, exit polls often get it wrong.

This round of election is seen as a semi-final before the parliamentary election next summer, when prime minister Narendra Modi will seek re-election. Out of the five states where voting was held since last month, the BJP rules three, all states that contributed immensely to Modi’s majority in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

The BJP had won 62 out of 65 parliamentary seats spread across Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

For full coverage of assembly elections, click here

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 18:20 IST