- The average of exit polls give edge to Congress
- Majority of pollsters predict BJP and AAP to win
- Congress leaders dispatched to Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur
BJP is expected to win Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur while the Aam Admi Party (AAP) is most likely to emerge in Punjab as a clear leader, according to the average of exit polls conducted by five agencies on Monday when the last phase of polling took place in UP. The fight between the BJP and the Congress is tighter in Uttarakhand and Goa. BJP is far ahead of the Congress in Manipur and Samajvadi Party in UP while AAP is clearly ahead of the Congress in Punjab.
The poll of exit polls indicates clear inroads by AAP in Punjab. AAP which has been in power in Delhi since 2015 will be ruling in a controversial and border State of Punjab. AAP is expected to win 70-75 seats in the 117 – seat Punjab Assembly. India Today’s poll has given 76 to 90 seats to Aravind Kejriwal’s party. While the poll conducted by Republic TV said APP is likely to get 62-70 seats and NewsX-Polstrat poll gave the AAP 56-61 seats. Unlike in Delhi, Kejriwal’s AAP will be running a full-fledged State government in Punjap. Congress must have suffered the impact of intensive infighting between Chief Minister Channi and PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu who was responsible for dethronement of Capt Amarinder Singh from the seat of chief minister some six months ago. Sidhu has been a source of destabilization for the Congress in Punjab. Then he had a running battle with Chief Minister Channi. BJP will have no role in Punjab and its former ally Akali Dal is expected to win 18 seats.
In Uttar Pradesh, the State which matters most, the BJP is slated to win 230 seats which is more than a simple majority in the 403-seat UP Assembly. Samajvadi Party (SP) will be occupying second positions with more than 140 seats to its credit. An average five polls predicted remarkable win for the BJP for the second time although with reduced majority. It will be second straight win for BJP, this time under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath. An aggregate of five poll results gives 231 seats to the BJP and about 140 seats to Akhilesh Yadav – led SP.
In Uttarakhand, the exit polls suggested a close fight between the BJP and the Congress. Any one party of the BJP and Congress could emerge a winner. In Goa’s 40-member Assembly BJP is expected to win 18 seats while the Congress is likely to win 15 seats, two seats less than what it did in 2017. Though the Congress emerged as a single largest party with 17 MLAs in Goa in2017, it could not form a government. Instead, the BJP moved very swiftly, encouraged Congress MLAs to defect and formed the government. The same kind of tussle is likely to repeat in Goa this time around. The BJP is set to win 30 out of 60 seats in Manipur Assembly. The Congress is slated to win 14 seats.
The Congress high command had held a strategic meeting and dispatched senior leaders to Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Punjab where it has chances of competing.
The counting of votes will take place on March 10, Thursday. There were many occasions earlier when the exit polls results have proved wrong.