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Cong to be back in Assam: Exit polls

The two-stage elections concluded with an estimated 73% of the total 17.4 million voters exercising their franchise.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 22:33 IST
ndo-Asian News Service
ndo-Asian News Service

The Congress in Assam is jubilant with a majority of the exit polls predicting that it will form the government once again, although with a reduced victory margin.

The Hindu-CNN-IBN poll has given the Congress in Assam between 52 to 60 seats in the 126-member state legislature.

The two-stage elections concluded on Monday with an estimated 73 per cent of the total 17.4 million voters exercising their franchise.

The fight for political supremacy is between the Congress and Assam's main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP).

The two other main players in the elections were the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the newly floated Muslim-based party, the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF).

The Hindu-CNN-IBN poll has given the AGP between 25 to 31 and the BJP 10 to 15 seats.

Two more local Assamese newspapers that also conducted independent exit polls predicted that no single party would get a majority in the elections, although both the dailies gave the Congress a distinct edge over their rivals.

The mass circulation Asomiya Khabar gave the Congress between 50 to 55 seats, and the AGP between 30 to 35 seats.

The BJP tally, according to the Asomiya Khabar poll, stands somewhere between 10 to 15.

Another popular Assamese daily, Dainik Janambhumi, has given the Congress between 52 to 57 and the AGP 25 to 20.

"We have conducted the exit polls in all the 126 constituencies and was done very scientifically with the help of expert psephologists," Atanu Bhuyan, editor of the Asomiya Khabar, said.

The Congress in the 2001 assembly polls won 71 seats and the AGP 20.

The BJP, which was an ally of the AGP in the 2001 elections, won eight seats.

"I am confident we are going to get the required majority to form the government. The exit polls could prove wrong as we would get more seats," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said

Similar claims were made by the AGP.

"We are going to sweep the polls. The exit polls were done superficially without going into the realities," senior AGP leader Apurba Kumar Bhattacharyya said.

Senior BJP leaders, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said they were expecting to win in 15 seats.

"The predictions are on expected lines," a senior BJP leader said.

First Published: Apr 11, 2006 14:01 IST