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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Haryana exit polls predict BJP’s return to power with landslide victory

The exit polls results show the BJP could be close to its target of winning 75 seats in the Haryana assembly elections.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2019 17:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Haryana’s BJP Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is set to retain power for a second term with a higher majority.
Haryana’s BJP Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is set to retain power for a second term with a higher majority.(PTI)
         

The ruling BJP is headed for a landslide victory in the assembly elections in Haryana, according to exit polls. Haryana registered a voter turnout of 65% in Monday’s polls, the Election Commission said.

The Times Now exit poll gave the BJP 71 seats and the Congress 11 seats. According to the Republic TV exit poll, the BJP will get between 52 and 63 seats while the Congress is projected to win 23 seats and others winning 9.

The ABP News-C Voter poll gave the BJP 72 seats and 8 to the Congress. According to the CNN-News18-Ipsos exit poll, the BJP is projected to win 75 seats. The Congress is projected 10 seats and the INLD is expected to draw a blank.

The BJP which won 47 seats in the 90-member assembly in 2014, had set itself a target of winning at least 75 seats this time. The majority mark in the assembly is 46.

The BJP which had been tipped to win the elections seems to have lived up to its top billing. In the run up to the elections, the opposition seemed to be in disarray with the Congress plagued by infighting.

The BJP’s projected landslide victory in Haryana means that it is not only the Congress which will see its fortunes fall further, but also the INLD which is staring at oblivion. Most exit polls painted the worst picture for the INLD with almost a complete whitewash and a best place finish of one seat against the 19 it won in 2014.

The BJP which all 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the general elections last summer, had a head start in Haryana was the first party to start campaigning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi endorsing chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar for a second term saying the state needed him.

Among other issues, the BJP campaign in Haryana centred around the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, India’s diplomatic victories over Pakistan over Kashmir and its central welfare schemes, improvement in the state’s recruitment processes and the state government’s welfare measures.

Earlier Monday, Congress strongman and two-time former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the Congress would emerge victorious.

“The Jannayak Janata Party and Indian National Lok Dal are not factors, the contest is between Congress and the BJP only and the Congress will get the majority,” Hooda told reporters.

By the evening, the claim was in tatters. The Congress which fought the assembly election under interim chief Sonia Gandhi had been badly hit internal squabbles. In September, the party named senior leader Kumari Selja its new state unit chief to pacify Hooda, who threatened to form his own party if former president Ashok Tanwar was not removed. Earlier this month Tanwar quit the party after accusing his political rivals of “selling tickets” for the upcoming state polls.

The infighting meant the Congress was slow to begin its campaign which remained largely low profile. The party had hoped to benefit from a weakening Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), whose chief Om Prakash Chautala is in jail.

Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to address on election rally in Haryana but had to cancel it.