Exit poll conducted by AC Nielson for ABP News channel gave BJP 127 seats, Shiv Sena 77, Congress 40, NCP 34 and MNS 5. An exit poll telecasted on India TV gave BJP between 124 and 134 seats, Shiv Sena 51-61, Congress 38-48, NCP 31-41 and MNS and others 9-15 each. Today’s Chanakya exit poll telecast on News24 channel gave BJP a clear majority with 151 seats while Shiv Sena was given 71. Congress was given 27 while NCP 28. MNS was projected to get 11.The same pollster projected clear majority for BJP in Haryana, giving it 52 of the 90 seats. INLD comes second with 23 seats, Congress 10 and others 5. In the outgoing Assembly, Congress had 40 seats; BJP had only four, INLD 31 and HJC 6. Others had 9. Exit poll by C-Voter projected 37 seats for BJP in Haryana, 28 for INLD, 15 for Congress, 6 for Haryana Janhit Congress and 4 for others. AC-Nielson gave 46 to BJP, Congress 10, INLD 29, HJC two and others three. If the projections come true, BJP will be forming the government in Haryana for the first time ever. Mr. Modi campaigned extensively in the state; addressing 11 rallies. Counting of votes will take place on October 19.
Political pundits, exit polls and survey gives mandate to BJP, it is likely that BJP will emerge as the largest party in both Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections but not with majority. The Congress and NCP, which were ruling Maharashtra for 15 years before they split ahead of the elections, were projected to lose heavily while Shiv Sena was predicted to emerge as the second largest party. One exit poll conducted by ‘Today’s Chanakya’, however, gave a clear majority to BJP in both Maharashtra and Haryana. Maharashtra, where Modi campaigned extensively addressing 27 rallies, appears to be heading for a BJP government for the first time in the state’s history. According to C-voter exit poll telecast on Times Now and Zee News channels, BJP was projected to get 129 out of 288 seats. Its erstwhile ally Shiv Sena was projected to get 56 seats while Congress was predicted to bag 43, NCP 36, MNS 12 and others 12. For a majority, a party has to get 145 seats. In the outgoing assembly, BJP had 47 seats while Shiv Sena had 45. Congress had 82 seats, NCP 62 and MNS had 12.
Haryana clocked a record 73 per cent turnout, where as an estimated 64 per cent of Maharashtra’s 8.35 crore voters on Wednesday cast their ballots in a bitterly-fought election that pollsters said will throw up a hung Assembly with BJP emerging as the single-largest party but falling short of a majority in the 288-member House. Approximately 64 per cent polling has been recorded by 6 p.m. Prominent among those whose electoral fate will be decided when counting takes place on Sunday include former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, his deputy and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse, his counterpart in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde (both BJP), Shiv Sena leader in the outgoing Assembly Subhash Desai and his MNS counterpart Bala Nandgaonkar. Polling started on a brisk note, slowed down around noon but again picked up and about 55 per cent of the electorate had cast their votes by 5 p.m.
Technical problems in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were reported from some polling booths in Nagpur city and Wardha district in Vidarbha, and Sewree in Mumbai. Voters in a Nashik booth also complained that the electoral rolls were not in order. A policeman on election duty was killed after being struck by lightning in Avdeghat polling station of Savner constituency in Vidarbha, where polling in some parts was marred by rains.
The election, first in over two decades without any major pre-poll alliances in place after BJP snapped its 25-year old ties with Shiv Sena and NCP broke off its partnership with Congress after a 15-year shot at power in the state, will also test the individual mettle of the parties. Raj Thackeray’s MNS, after a drubbing in Lok Sabha polls, is seeking to emerge as X factor and the kingmaker in the contest where multiplicity of parties is expected to drastically reduce victory margins. Among the early voters in Maharashtra were former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who cast his vote in Karad in western Maharashtra, from where he is a candidate, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in Baramati, former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in Solapur, Leader of Opposition in Council Vinod Tawde in Mumbai and NCP MP Supriya Sule and her mother Pratibha Pawar in Baramati. NCP chief Sharad Pawar cast his vote in Mumbai, while Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was joined by his wife and son Aditya .State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, a front runner for chief ministerial post in case BJP comes to power, also cast his vote. There are 4119 candidates in the fray of 288 seats, including 276 women. 1699 independent candidates are also trying their luck.
BJP has fielded 280 candidates, Shiv Sena 282, Congress 287, NCP 278 and MNS 219. BSP has put up nominees in 260 seats, CPI 34 and CPM 19. The Congress’s strategy is to keep its voter base intact, which, if it happens, can give the party some relief in a situation of a multi-cornered contest. But this calculation is based on the assumption that there is no significant anti-incumbency in the state, which is certainly not the case. The only thing working for the Congress is the fact that splitting with the NCP has helped the party recover some ground, aided by the perception that former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is an honest person, and the enthusiasm generated among the cadres by the decision to contest alone. Let’s see on 19th what is written in the fate these two states.