Poll of Polls: BJP Tipped to Return to Power in Maharashtra and Haryana With Bigger Mandates
New Delhi: The BJP is set to retain power in Maharashtra, where it is in an alliance with the Shiv Sena, and in Haryana, in the first elections to be held since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mammoth victory in May, exit polls have predicted. The pollsters have been near unanimous in their projection of a landslide win for the BJP in the two states and a rout for its rivals, led by the Congress.
Exit polls, broadcast soon after polling for the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls was concluded on Monday, varied in their projection of seats for the rival alliances, but were in no doubt about an emphatic victory with more than two-thirds seats for the BJP-led NDA in both the states.
The News18-IPSOS exit poll predicted the BJP may well be within touching distance of the majority mark in Maharashtra on its own. The party is likely to bag 141 seats in the 288-seat Assembly, up from its 2014 tally of 122. Its ally, the Shiv Sena, is also likely to make massive gains, going from 63 to 102 seats in the Assembly. The Congress tally is likely to drop from 42 to 17, while the NCP may go down from 41 to 22, the survey predicted.
In Haryana, the BJP is likely to zoom past the halfway mark, bagging 75 seats in the 90-seat Assembly, according to the exit poll. The Congress may come down from 15 to 10 seats, but the biggest setback may come for the INLD which may be wiped out altogether.
The India Today-Axis exit poll projected 166-194 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly and 72-90 for the Congress-NCP alliance. The ABP-C Voter predicted 210 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena and 63 for the Congress-NCP, while the corresponding figures by Times Now were 230 and 48.
In Haryana, the BJP win was predicted to be even more dominant. The ABP-C Voter forecast 70 and eight seats for the BJP and the Congress respectively in the 90-member House. The Times Now survey gave the BJP and the Congress 71 and 11 seats respectively.
The poll of polls, or the aggregate of the exit polls, shows that the BJP may get and the Congress would get 66 and 14 seats respectively in Haryana, and 211 to the saffron alliance and 64 to the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra.
The BJP had brought the issue of nullification of Article 370 of the Constitution and national security at the centre of its campaign, with development works of its state governments playing the second fiddle.
In 2014, the BJP and the Sena had won 122 seats and 63 seats respectively in Maharashtra, followed by 42 and 41 seats by the Congress and the NCP. All four parties had contested the polls independently. In Haryana, the BJP had won 47 seats, followed by the Indian National Lok Dal's (INLD) 19 and 15 of the Congress.
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