Meghalaya exit polls: Congress, NPP emerge as strongest contenders in state Assembly election
The Congress exuded confidence of retaining power in Meghalaya while the BJP and regional parties were equally gung-ho about unseating the ruling party in the northeastern state
Although BJP went an extra mile to appease the Christian voters in Meghalaya, it's unlikely to form the government in the state by overthrowing Congress, a C-Voter exit poll said. However, ahead of the counting on 3 March both the parties are claiming to do well.
According to the exit poll, Congress will clinch 36.5 percent of the vote, followed by NPP with 29.4 percent. Despite its heavy campaigning, BJP only managed 16.6 percent vote share, while the UDP- HSPDP coalition had an 8.8 percent share and Others clinched 8.7 percent of the vote share.
The exit poll predicts 17 to 23 seats for NPP, 13 to 19 seats for Congress, 8 to 12 for UDP- HSPDP alliance, 4 to 8 seats for BJP and 5 to 9
seats for Others respectively.
The Congress — ruling the state for a decade — fielded candidates in all 60 seats, of which 59 went to polls on Tuesday. Seven of its legislators have since quit and jumped on to the bandwagon of the Bharatiya Janata Party, National People's Party (NPP) and newly floated People's Democratic Front (PDF).
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, the chief architect of the Congress win on 29 seats in the 2013 elections, said he was confident of increasing the number of its MLAs in the new house. "I don't see any anti-incumbency. Instead, there is so much of pro-incumbency. People of the state have faith and confidence in the Congress," Sangma, Meghalaya's longest-serving chief minister said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who visited Meghalaya twice in the past one month and campaigned in Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills regions, had told IANS: "We have the people's support and I am confident we will retain power in Meghalaya."
The BJP, fighting the polls alone by fielding 47 candidates, is equally confident of winning a good number of seats and forming a non-Congress government.
The NPP, an ally of the BJP with two MLAs, is hopeful of increasing the numbers, as five former Congress legislators are contesting on NPP symbol this time.
The combined regional alliance comprising United Democratic Party, Hill State People's Democratic Party and Garo National Council also was gung-ho about electoral victory.
The HSPDP and the UDP forged a pre-poll alliance with 36 seats in Khasi and Jaintia Hills, while the UDP tied up with the Garo National Council for 24 seats in the Garo Hills.
Here is a look at the C-Voter Meghalaya exit poll predictions:
With inputs from agencies
S Jaishankar's trip to Kuwait crucial, but New Delhi must not take its eye off renewed Saudi-Pakistan ties
But through the bonhomie, India would do well to keep one eye firmly on another partner in West Asia with whom it has enjoyed cordial ties largely based on its energy requirements: Saudi Arabia
Frontline and healthcare workers were assigned additional duties to help manage the public health emergency. But while the number of tasks expected of ASHAs kept increasing, the protective gear dwindled
Free COVID-19 vaccines for adults, announces Narendra Modi: What it means, what changes and what doesn't
The Centre will take over from states, which were supposed to be carrying out about 25 percent of the country’s vaccination work, and continue with its ongoing inoculation efforts