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BSP-SP alliance dents BJP in Uttar Pradesh, say exit polls, but disagree on numbers

All eyes are on UP as the countdown begins for Lok Sabha 2019 election results on May 23rd, Thursday next, with the state sending 80 of 543 elected MPs to the lower house of Parliament

lok sabha elections Updated: May 20, 2019 19:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh Lok sabha election,Lok sabha Election 2019,Lok Sabha Elections Exit Poll 2019
Exit poll projections show SP-BSP coalition gaining seats in Uttar Pradesh(ANI Photo)

Exit polls differ widely on their projections for Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, aligned only in predicting that the tally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s tally will come down from the spectacular 73 of 80 seats five years ago.

A survey by Times Now-VMR shows the NDA winning 58 seats in the state, with the Congress-led UPA winning two. It shows others - which includes the ambitious alliance between Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party - getting 20 seats.

But the ABP-AC Nielsen exit poll predicts the opposite; 22 for the BJP and allies and 56 for the others, which includes the BSP-SP alliance. This survey too predicts a bleak 2 for the Congress, equal to the party’s tally in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Here are the highlights of exit polls

Republic TV-C Voter projects that the NDA tally will come down to 38, the gathbandhan (BSP-SP-RLD) will get 40 seats and the UPA 2 seats.

Yet another exit poll, by Republic-Jan ki Baat, gives seats in the range of 46-57 to NDA, UPA 2-4 and Others 21-32.

Watch: Live analysis of Exit Polls 2019

Exit polls often get it wrong and all eyes are on the UP results when votes are counted for Lok Sabha 2019 on May 23rd, Thursday next, with the state sending 80 of 543 elected MPs to the lower house of Parliament.

In winning 73 seats in 2014, the BJP and ally Apna Dal had left only two to be won by the Congress and five by the Samajwadi Party, all of them by members of the first families of the two parties.

In 2016, the BJP added to its UP success a sweep of the state’s assembly elections, uprooting the Samajwadi Party and then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav from power.

Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party had the ignominy of not winning a single seat in 2014 and only a handful in the assembly elections. For this year’s general election it joined hands with arch rival Samajwadi Party in an attempt to limit the BJP. Any significant gain by the combine or gathbandhan in UP will mean a deep cut in the BJP’s overall tally.

Here is a look at exit poll numbers:

The BSP-SP combine, along with partner Ajit Singh’s RLD (Rashtriya Lok Dal), has sought to consolidate backward, Dalit and Muslim votes. It tested waters in by-elections last year, coming up trumps. The BJP lost three of the Lok Sabha seats it had won in 2014.

As counting day draws near, all sides have claimed supremacy. While Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party asserts that the “Gathbandhan will sweep UP and dislodge the BJP,” the BJP says it will “win 70 + seats.”

In this year’s general elections, the opposition alliance is seen to have posed a tough challenge to the BJP. The Congress, left out of the gathbandhan after talks with Mayawati failed, turned it into a triangular contest on several seats, while on others seeming to aid the battle against the BJP.

Read: 4 exit polls predict clear majority for Modi-led NDA; show UPA gaining

Reduced to its lowest tally ever of 44 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress hopes the UP result will help the party return to power at the centre. There are unconfirmed reports of a possible meeting between the BSP chief and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi in the next few days.

Dwijendra Tripathi, a senior Congress leader in UP, said his party, along with its allies, is confident of forming the government at the Centre and is sure it will get the cooperation of like-minded parties.

“The Congress lies exposed and defeated. May 23 would formally confirm as much. We have ordered sweets in anticipation. No, it’s not overconfidence. We have seen the mood of the people. The opposition is in denial mode. Best of luck to them,” said BJP spokesperson Chandramohan.

Read: UDF comfortably placed in Kerala, say exit polls

UP voted in all seven phases of the month-and-a-half long elections, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seat, Varanasi, voting in the last phase today. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is also in the fray from UP; he is contesting from Amethi, of which he is the sitting MP. Gandhi has also chosen to contest a second seat, Wayanad in Kerala.

The BJP held more than 470 rallies in UP, with PM Modi fronting 29, party chief Amit Shah 28, and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath the most at 130. In the gathbandhan, the SP, BSP and RLD held 21 joint rallies while Akhilesh Yadav held 50 solo rallies and Mayawati about 25.

The Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi held 40 rallies and an equal number of road shows.

Here is a look at numbers:

First Published: May 19, 2019 19:15 IST

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