With the results of the closely-fought battle in Himachal Pradesh just hours away, both the Congress and the BJP are scurrying to claim victory. While Congress dismissed the exit poll predictions, BJP expressed confidence that their performance and campaign would better projections.
Exit polls predicted that Congress led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will bite the dust and the current leader of Opposition BJP's Prem Kumar Dhumal will become the next chief minister.
According to the CVoter exit poll, BJP is likely to get 41 seats in the House of 68, which is a 15-seat jump from its 2012 tally of 26. Congress, according to the poll, will secure 25 seats, which is an 11-seat fall from its last tally of 36 seats, thus pushing it out of power in the hill state.
The halfway mark of the state Assembly is 34.
In terms of vote share, the CVoter exit poll has predicted that BJP's share will rise to 47.6 percent this time from 38.5 percent in 2012. The vote share for Congress is also expected to go up from 42.8 percent in 2012 to 44 percent this year. The Others, according to the poll, recorded a drastic fall when it comes to vote share slipping from 18.7 percent in 2012 to 8.3 percent this year with a huge swing of 10.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Today's Chanakya gave BJP a whopping 55 seats with an error margin of plus/minus seven seats while giving Congress a minuscule 13 seats again with the same error margin. Others get none with an error margin of plus/minus three seats.
The India Today-Axis exit poll has also given a clear victory to BJP in the Congress-ruled state. It predicted that BJP will win 47-55 seats in Himachal Pradesh and Congress will only manage 13-20 seats. It predicts 50 percent vote share for the BJP, 41 percent for Congress and nine percent for others.
According to NDTV's 2017 Poll of Exit Polls, BJP will have a comfortable win in the hill state with about 47 seats and the Congress will be reduced to 20 seats.
The Sahara Samay-CNX prediction gave 46 seats to BJP and 21 to Congress in the Assembly. The Times Now-VMR and Zee News-Axis exit polls predicted that BJP would win 51 of the total 68 Assembly seats in the state.
While the Times Now-VMR exit poll gave 16 seats to the Congress and one to another, the Zee News-Axis poll gave 17 seats to the party in power in Shimla.
Singh has dismissed the projections of the exit polls, saying he could well read the mood of the people of the state and the actual results would be opposite to the exit poll projections. "I am confident that 'mission repeat' would be achieved and the tall claims made by BJP would be proved wrong," he told reporters.
Singh said he visited every nook and corner of the state during the election campaign and has no doubt that Congress is in a strong position. "The Congress would certainly win for the government."
On the other hand, Dhumal exuberated confidence and said that the results will mirror the exit polls. "In fact, BJP would win more seats than projected in the exit-polls," he said.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 18, 2017 06:58:41 IST