Exit polls predict easy win for BJP in Gujarat, HP

Exit polls predict easy win for BJP in Gujarat, HP
BJP is expected to romp home comfortably in Gujarat and re-capture the hill state of Himachal Pradesh from the Congress, a clutch of exit polls claimed on Thursday.

The BJP is predicted to win 99 to 146 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, according to eight exit polls. Congress, which tried to stitch an umbrella coalition of Patidars, OBCs and Dalits to deny BJP another shot at power, may have to settle for a worst of 36 as one poll suggested or may get up to 82 as others predicted.

In Himachal Pradesh, ruling Congress is likely to lose power with BJP bagging seats in a range of 35 to 56 in a House of 68 MLAs, leaving the Congress seats between six - in a worst case scenario - to 32 seats.

The Congress is yet to shake the BJP edifice in Gujarat, if one goes by the exit polls, but it is not all bad for Congress as half a dozen polls are giving it better figures compared to the current strength of the party.

While the Congress had won 61 seats during the Rajya Sabha elections in August, it could manage to hold on to only 42-44 MLAs with the rest switching sides to support the BJP. From this, the exit polls barring two, showed Congress may win 64 to 82 seats.

Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi's whirlwind electioneering in the past couple of months is also believed to have yielded some results.

In Gujarat, where a party needs 92 seats to win, two of the eight exit polls predicted around around 140 seats, just a dozen short of what BJP president Amit Shah had targeted.

Today's Chanakya-News24 predicted 135 seats for BJP while projecting that it could even reach 146, the highest given by any pollster, or could touch a low of 124. VDPA Associates, a market research agency, predicted 142 seats for the saffron party. For Congress, Today's Chanakya gave 47 (lowest at 36 and highest at 58) while VDPA gave 37 seats.

The CSDS-ABP News, which predicted a close fight in an opinion poll on November 30, gave a decisive victory for the BJP in the exit poll at 117 seats leaving just 64 seats for the Congress.

The Axis-India Today poll gave 99 to 113 seats for BJP, VMR-Times Now gave 113, Republic TV and Cvoter-TV9 108 each as well as CNX-NewsX giving 110-120. Congress is likely to get 68-82 seats in Axis poll while VMR gave 66, Republic TV and Cvoter 74 each.

In Himachal Pradesh, Today's Chanakya gave 55 seats (48-62 range) for BJP while leaving Congress at 13 (6-20 range). VDPA, Axis and VMR are other agencies that predicted a sweep for the BJP in the state while CSDS poll gave some jitters for the BJP.

The CSDS poll predicted a close finish with BJP getting 38. However, it could even settle for 35 or at a maximum it could get 41, the prediction said. CVoter, CNX and Republic gave 41 to 46 seats.

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