Millennium Post

Cong to win Raj, TRS in T'gana; MP, Ch'garh set for photo finish

NEW DELHI: Exit polls for five states - billed as an indicator for next year's general elections - do not augur well for the ruling BJP. In the three crucial heartland states, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the party will end up well short of a majority, an aggregate of exit polls seem to suggest. The Congress is likely to get a decisive mandate in Rajasthan, while the two other states, where the BJP has been in power for three terms, are likely to deliver a hung verdict. The Congress is expected to lose Mizoram, and K Chandrashekar Rao will retain Telangana, the exit polls predicted.

Madhya Pradesh may be heading for a photo finish, with exit polls predicting that both the BJP and the Congress will be neck and neck but fall short of a majority in the 230-member assembly. According to an aggregate of nine exit polls, the BJP will get 110 seats in the state, while the Congress will get 108 seats. The halfway mark is at 115. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party will get two seats.

In Chhattisgarh too, the picture does not appear rosy for the BJP, if the exit polls are any indicator. The BJP, led by Chief Minister Raman Singh, will get 40 of the state's 90 seats, while the Congress will win 43. The Ajit Jogi-Mayawati alliance will get five seats, the aggregate of nine exit polls shows. The majority mark in the assembly stands at 46.

Rajasthan, which has not voted for the same party for two consecutive terms in the last 20 years, will this time throw its weight behind the Congress, continuing the trend, according to the poll of exit polls. In the 200-member assembly, the BJP will win 78 seats and the Congress 112, an aggregate of ten exit polls have predicted. Mayawati will win one seat.

In Telangana, India's youngest state which voted for the second time on Friday, exit polls show Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekar Rao's gamble of dissolving the state assembly eight months before schedule paying rich dividends. The TRS will get 64 of the state's 119 assembly seats, where the majority mark is at 61. The Congress-Chandrababu Naidu combine will get 41 seats and the BJP five seats, an aggregate of eight exit polls have predicted.

Mizoram, one of the four states where the Congress is still in power, will vote out the Congress but end up with a split verdict, predict exit polls in the state. The aggregate of two exit polls shows the Congress getting only 16 seats in the 40-member assembly. The MNF, it predicts, will get 18 seats. The BJP, the exit polls predict, will have to wait longer to open its account in the state and ruling the entire northeast.

The exit polls came in as polling ended in Rajasthan and Telangana at 5 pm.

Rajasthan recorded a turnout of 72.62 per cent and Telangana 67 per cent , the Election Commission said.

Chhattisgarh voted in two phases on November 12, and November 20, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram voted on November 28.

Votes in these five states will be counted on Tuesday.

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