Exit poll results for the Maharashtra Assembly election were announced on Monday with most pollsters predicting over 200 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and a major drubbing for NCP-Congress in the 288 Assembly seats that polled on Monday.
Four out of the five exit polls — News18-IPSOS Exit Poll, Times Now Exit Poll, Republic-Jan Ki Baat and ABP News Exit Poll — that Firstpost reviewed, predicted over 200 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena front with another poor performance from the Congress-NCP alliance. The India Today-Axis My Poll was the only pollster, which predicted less than 200 seats for the saffron alliance.
Voting for 288 Assemblies concluded at 6 pm with a voter turnout of around 63 percent, almost matching the 63.38 percent polling recorded in the last state elections in 2014.
The News18-IPSOS Exit Poll predicted the maximum number of seats — 243 seats — for the 'Mahayuti' alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and smaller parties, among the pollsters, while it predicted just 41 seats for the Congress-NCP Maha-agadhi alliance. The exit poll predicted other parties including Independent candidates to win just four seats, completely rejecting the pre-poll concerns that rebel candidates from Shiv Sena and BJP could spoil the ruling alliance's chances in the state.
In the 2014 Assembly elections, both Shiv Sena and BJP had contested the polls separately, and against each other in most seats. While the BJP had won 122 seats, the Shiv Sena had won 63 seats.
All the exit polls on Monday suggested massive gains for the saffron parties in Maharashtra. In contrast, the Congress and NCP, which had a tally of 83 seats when combined together, is likely to witness a further fall in its seat tally. In the other category, which had parties like VBA, AIMIM and Independent candidates, had won 20 seats in 2014 Assembly election. They too are likely to see a drop in their tally.
The TIMES NOW Exit Poll was closest to the News18-IPSOS Exit Poll with the pollster heavily favouring the BJP and the Shiv Sena with a likely chance to win 230 seats in Maharashtra. The Congress and NCP are in for a shock as they are expected to win a meagre 48 seats with other parties expected to win only 10 seats.
|India Today-Axis My Poll||180||81||28|
|News18-IPSOS Exit Poll||243||41||4|
|ABP News Exit Poll||204||69||15|
|Republic-Jan Ki Baat||223||55||10|
|Times Now Exit Poll||230||48||10|
|Poll of Polls||216||59||13|
The Republic-Jan Ki Baat poll predicted anywhere from 230-216 seats for the saffron alliance, however, it predicted the Congress-NCP alliance to win anywhere from 59 to 50 seats. It, however, gave 12-8 seats for othe parties like Prakash Ambedkar's Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM and Independent candidates.
According to the ABP News exit poll, the BJP and Shiv Sena alliance is expected to win 204 seats in Maharashtra while the NCP and Congress likely to win just 69 seats. Other parties are predicted to win 15 seats.
The India Today-Axis My Poll though also predicted a clear majority for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, however, it was the only pollster to predict less than 200 seats for the Mahayuti alliance with 166-194 seats in Maharashtra. The pollster said that the Congress-NCP alliance is expected to win 72-90 seats, the maximum among the five pollsters reviewed, while the other parties are expected to win 22-34 seats.
A poll of polls of the five exit poll predictions put the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance way ahead of the Opposition with a tally of 216 seats while the Congress-NCP alliance is predicted to win 59 seats and others are predicted to win 13 seats. The NDTV Poll of Polls, however, predicted 211 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. It said that the Congress-NCP alliance is expected to win 64 seats while others are expected to win just 13 seats.
Maharashtra Assembly elections held on Monday saw a voter turnout of around 63 percent, almost matching the 63.38 percent polling recorded in the last state elections in 2014. Rural areas of the state fared better, with voters there showing more enthusiasm than their urban counterparts.
Polling began at 7 am and ended at 6 pm. Altogether 54.53 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 5 pm, a poll official said.
A galaxy of bigwigs from politics, Bollywood and India Inc joined the young and the old in exercising their franchise in this festival of democracy. Prominent voters included RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, CM Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, former President Pratibha Patil and MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
In Maharashtra, where the 'Mahayuti' alliance of BJP, Shiv Sena and smaller parties is against the 'Maha-agadhi' led by the Congress and the NCP, a total of 8,98,39,600 people, including 4,28,43,635 women, are eligible to vote.
As many as 3,237 candidates, including 235 women, are contesting in 288 seats and 96,661 polling booths were in place with 6.5 lakh staff for the voting exercise.
Tight security arrangements have been made with deployment of more than three lakh personnel from state police and central forces in Maharashtra.
The opposition Congress said it filed over 250 complaints of poll procedure violations with the Election Commission, including one for Ramtek segment where it said if the EVM button was pressed in favour of Congress candidate, the vote was shown to be going to the BJP nominee.
Counting of votes will be on 24 October.
The high-voltage electioneering by the BJP saw participation of a galaxy of leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, as it continued to aggressively raise the nationalism plank by focusing on scrapping of Article 370 provisions on special status to Jammu and Kashmir and targeted the opposition on national security and corruption.
The opposition tried to corner the BJP governments at the Centre and in the states on the handling of the economy with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blaming the ruling party for the economic slowdown and unemployment and highlighting issues like "failure" of demonetisation and GST rollout.
The BJP, which is seeking a second straight term under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra, is contesting 164 seats, which include candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while Sena has fielded candidates on 124 seats.
On the other hand, the Congress has fielded 147 candidates and the ally NCP 121. Prominent candidates in the fray are Fadnavis and his predecessors from Congress, Ashok Chavan, who is in fray from Bhokar in Nanded district, and Prithviraj Chavan seeking re-election from Karad South in Satara district.
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, son of Uddhav Thackeray, is contesting from Worli in Mumbai. The 29-year-old is the first from the Thackeray family to make debut in electoral politics. Polling was also held in the by-election to 51 Assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies spread across 18 states.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Oct 22, 2019 12:23:12 IST