Uttar Pradesh is likely to get a hung assembly with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerging closest to the threshold of 202 seats in the 403-seat assembly if exit polls forecast is anything to count on.
Six exit polls conducted on the people's mandate in the country's largest legislative Assembly (403 seats) predict a clear win for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, four exit poll surveys predicted a hung assembly for UP, with BJP coming out as the largest party, while two poll services thought that the saffron party will sweep the elections single-handedly. To put things further in perspective here is an infographic too, that sums up what different pollsters have to say about the assembly elections.
Even as analysts suggest to take such poll predictions with a pinch of salt, an unmistakable tilt towards the BJP, emerging from these predictions is hard to dismiss. It also marks a clear departure from the trend in the Hindi heartland which had pushed the two so-called national parties, the BJP and Congress, to the sidelines since past 15 years.
But this year's predictions suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's marathon rallies in the state did not go waste. The BJP which was trailing at the third position in previous Assembly elections is clearly on a winning streak, though not as remarkable as in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
In fact, to put the startling difference in the way in which the electorate has cast its mandate according to the predictions, let us look at the previous performance of all the major contenders in the state in 2012.
|Samajwadi Party||Bahujan Samaj Party||Bharatiya Janata Party||Congress||Rashtriya Lok Dal|
Riding on an anti-incumbency wave against the Bahujan Samaj Party, which was battling several charges of corruption against its ministers, SP had surprised pollsters who were expecting a hung assembly in the state. The decisive mandate gave SP 224 seats, much more than the 202 needed. The incumbent BSP was relegated to the position of the main Opposition party in the Legislative Assembly, while BJP trailed at the third position with 47 seats and the Congress-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance got 37 seats.
After Thursday's predictions, the BSP it is safe to say has been completely written-off in its home turf. The poll predictions may have recorded a massive surge in BJP's chances of staking a claim at the UP throne but the one real loser was Mayawati's BSP that was relegated to the third position in its home turf, with all pollsters predicting it will not even make it to three digits.
The Samajwadi Party also lost considerable ground, arguably because its alliance with the Congress party failed to convert into votes. The party had ceded a crucial 105 seats to the grand old party, which was decimated by Mulayam and could barely scrap though 28 seats in 2012 Assembly elections. The Congress not only fought on seats that were earlier held by the Samajwadi Party, it also retained some of the seats it did win in 2012. Apparently, the alliance could not convert SP support base into votes for the Congress.
Besides, the election mandate will also be the people's decree on Akhilesh Yadav's decision to sideline party patriarchs Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav, who wielded a considerable influence amid Yadavs and Muslim voters.
This was also evident in the way, Akhilesh supporters went on a defensive footing right after the exit poll results began trickling in. While party' senior leader Azam Khan said that it will be wrong to blame the alliance's loss entirely on Akhilesh, in case the exit poll results prove to be true, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav himself sounded a little jittery.
The UP chief minister told BBC Hindi in an interview that he was not averse to the idea of an alliance with Mayawati, in case his party doesn't manage a majority.
As Firstpost executive editor, Ajay Singh writes, if the exit polls come true, the tamasha (drama) within the Yadav household would the biggest political soap opera involving a political family only after the fracas between Indira Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi.
Updated Date: Mar 09, 2017 23:11 PM