BJP is predicted to retain both Maharashtra and Haryana with two-third majority in the Assembly polls held on Monday, the first after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while the Opposition has a long way to catch up, exit polls have claimed.
The BJP-Shiv Sena combine could win 196 to 243 out of 288 seats in Maharashtra while the saffron party is expected to romp home with 47 to 80 out of 90 seats in Haryana. The exit polls indicate that voters in both the states have voted the same way they did in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this May.
The exit polls brought bad news for Congress as a couple of them showed that the Grand Old Party may be slipping behind NCP in Maharashtra while in Haryana while it is seen struggling in Haryana where infighting appears to have resulted in the party not being able to at least improve its tally.
Of the nine polls, including a poll of polls by NDTV, seven showed BJP-Shiv Sena crossing the 200 mark in Maharashtra. If the exit polls turn true, it would be a vindication of saffron party's target of 'ab ki baar 200 par' (this time, more than 200).
The News 18-Ipsos poll gave the BJP-Shiv Sena combine the highest number of seats at 243 while the lowest was given by India News poll at 196 (range 188-200). A thumping victory will assert Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' stature as the ally Shiv Sena will be positioned a little farther in terms of number of MLAs.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar's whirlwind tour of Maharashtra appeared to have helped NCP a bit with it managing to at least edge past its coalition partner Congress, if one goes by at least two exit polls. The News 18 poll gave NCP 22 seats (won 41 in 2014) while Congress is predicted to get only 17, down from 42 it won in 2014 while Republic TV gave NCP 30-35 seats and Congress 20-24 seats.
The best prediction for the Congress is from India News which gave the combine 74-89 seats even as it gave BJP 188-200. NDTV's poll of polls gave the opposition combine 64 while ABP-CVoter gave 69 while both gave the BJP combine 211 and 204 respectively.
In the 2014 polls, BJP (122), Shiv Sena (63), Congress (42) and NCP (41) had fought separately. Later, BJP and Shiv Sena came together to form the government.
In Haryana where the BJP has set a target of 75, at least two polls (News 18 and India News) gave more than 75 seats. Two other polls (ABP and Times Now) gave BJP more than 70 seats but less than 75. Except for TV9 poll, which gave just 47 seats for BJP, just two more than the majority mark and the same as that of 2014 results, all polls gave more than 60 seats for the BJP.
None of the polls, barring two, gave Congress more than 15 seats which it won in 2014 polls. Republic TV gave Congress 15-19 seats while TV9 gave it 23 while others' prediction ranged between eight and 14.
The split in INLD, which won 17 seats in 2014, appears to have had an impact on its prospects. Neither INLD or its splinter group Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) could not make much impact while same was the case with AAP.
The exit polls also indicate that the BJP has once again managed to control the influence of Jats in Haryana's electoral politics as INLD, JJP or Congress' Bhupinder Hooda not able to get traction.
Exit Polls -- Maharashtra
BJP-Shiv Sena -- 204; Congress-NCP -- 69; Others 15
BJP-Shiv Sena -- 243; Congress-NCP -- 41; Others -- 4
BJP-Shiv Sena -- 230; Congress-NCP -- 48; Others -- 10
Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat
BJP-Shiv Sena -- 223; Congress-NCP -- 54 ; Others -- 11
NDTV Poll of Polls
BJP-Shiv Sena -- 211; Congress-NCP -- 64; Others -- 13
BJP-Shiv Sena -- 188-200; Congress-NCP -- 74-89; Others -- 6-10
BJP-Shiv Sena -- 197; Congress-NCP -- 75; Others 16
EXIT POLLS -- HARYANA
BJP-- 72; Congress -- 8; Others -- 10
BJP-- 75; Congress -- 10; Others -- 5
BJP-- 71; Congress -- 11; Others -- 8
NDTV Poll of Polls
BJP-- 66; Congress -- 14; Others -- 10
BJP-- 75-80; Congress -- 9-12; Others -- 1-4
BJP-- 47; Congress -- 23; Others -- 20