Advantage for Congress in the South

 Voters wait in queues to cast their votes at a polling station, during the by-election for Thiruparankundram Assembly seat, in Madurai, Sunday. PTI Photo

A total of 128 seats are up for grabs in the southern part of the country for the Lok Sabha polls. India Today-Axis exit polls have predicted the Congress to take the upper hand in the southern states. The exit polls suggest that the UPA headed by the Congress will win an estimated 55-63 seats in the south. The NDA headed by the BJP is expected to win 23-33 seats while other parties are expected to win anywhere between 36 and 46 seats.

Also read: Exit Polls Live | NDA may score 280-300 seats

The BJP is expected to do very well in Karnataka with an estimated 21-25 seats. The Congress-JDS alliance have been at each other's throats over the last few days and the estimated results are sure to have an impact on the alliance in the days to come. The Congress-JDS alliance is expected to win a paltry 3-6 seats in the state. ABP News-Nielsen has predicted the BJP to win 15 seats and estimate that the ruling alliance in the state will win the remaining 13 seats. Performing well in Karnataka is very important for BJP as they have a history of poor performances in all the other southern states. And the polls suggest that the BJP has managed to salvage some seats in the south.

The Congress looks to have hit jackpot in Tamil Nadu having formed an alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. India Today Axis have suggested that the alliance is expected to win a whopping 34-38 seats in the state. If the odds go in their favour, they could sweep the entire state. The ADMK and BJP are expected to win a maximum of 4 seats in the state of Tamil Nadu. Other exit polls also suggest a DMK victory in the state. Republic-CVoter predicts the DMK-Congress to win 27 seats and the AIADMK-BJP to win 11 seats. Times Now-VMR has predicted 29 and 9 seats for the DMK-Congress and AIADMK-BJP respectively. Tamil Nadu has the largest number of seats among the southern states and those seats could prove to be vital while forming the government. Congress is expected to win the seat from Puducherry.

Regional Parties are expected to do very well in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Contradictory results have been predicted in Andhra Pradesh by different Exit Polls. YSRCP is expected to pick up 11 seats, while TDP is expected to win the remaining 14 seats according to Republic CVoter. India Today-Axis estimates that the YSRCP will receive 18-20 seats while the TDP will win 4-6 seats in Andhra Pradesh.

CVoter estimates the TRS to win 14 seats in Telangana. India Today-Axis expects the party to win 10-12 seats. The overall exit polls suggest a TRS victory in Telangana while the AIMIM is expected to keep its seat in Hyderabad. The BJP and the Congress are both expected to win anywhere between 1-3 seats in the state according to India Today-Axis.

Kerala has generated a lot of interest in the elections this time considering that Congress President Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Wayanad. Chanakya has predicted a big win for the Congress alliance in the state with 16 seats while the LDF is predicted to win the remaining 4 seats. CVoter also doesn't expect a single seat for the BJP predicting 15 and 5 for the UDF and the LDF respectively. Times Now-VMR and India Today-Axis expect the BJP to win a maximum of one seat from Thiruvananthapuram. Both of them predict big wins for the Congress-led alliance.

Apart from Karnataka, the BJP looks to have performed poorly in all the remaining southern states. Exit polls do reveal that they have made up for it in the rest of the country. Exit polls roughly predict the NDA to receive between 280-300 seats in Lok Sabha Polls 2019. This would mean that the NDA would retain power in the centre and that Narendra Modi could be all set to become the Prime Minister yet again.
 

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