New Delhi: Following the intense face-off between the Narendra Modi government and the opposition, last-minute switching of camps, allegations, counter-allegations, caste equations and pre-poll surveys made for a heady election cocktail in five states.
However, the poll results continue to remain unpredictable till December 11 when the votes are counted in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.
Amid the eagerness among people to know the outcome, Zee News’ Maha Exit Poll, which went LIVE from 5 pm today, will give a clear way of what the people in these five states have decided for the next five years.
If the BJP manages to continue its good show, it will energise its cadres and give a fillip to its hopes of retaining the power at the Centre in 2019.
On the other hand, if the Congress manages to upset its dominant rival in these assembly polls, then it will be a big boost to the opposition for the Lok Sabha polls.
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In 2013, the BJP had won 165, 163 and 49 seats in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh respectively, with the Congress securing 58, 21 and 39 seats.
In Telangana, the ruling K Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi is seen to be going strong and will face contest from the Congress-led ‘Praja Kutami’ (grand alliance) and the BJP.
After winning 63 seats in the 2014 assembly polls, the TRS’ ranks swelled with members of rival parties joining it over the years. However, anti-incumbency and advancing of polls by KCR may throw up surprises.
In Mizoram, the Congress has been in power since 2008, while in Chhattisgarh and MP, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been ruling for the last 15 years.
In the 2013 Chhattisgarh assembly polls though there was a difference of 10 seats between the BJP and the Congress, the difference between their vote share was just 0.75 per cent.
The contest in Chhattisgarh again promises to be a nail-biter as the ruling BJP is facing anti-incumbency, while the Congress is up against the challenge of the Ajit Jogi-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) tie-up.
In Madhya Pradesh, the contest looks even more tighter as the anti-incumbency is a big factor in the state with the Congress consistently doing well in the by-elections held in the last year-and-a half.
The BJP had in 2013 secured a 44.88 per cent vote share to Congress’s 36.38. A key statistic again here is that the BSP had bagged 6.29 per cent vote share. The BSP could prove to be a game-changer if it holds onto its clout.
Madhya Pradesh has also had its share of twists with several switching of camps by various leaders. Among the notable switches, Sanjay Singh Masani, the brother-in-law of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and senior BJP leader Sartaj Singh joined the Congress, while Premchand Guddu, a Dalit leader, joined the BJP
Rajasthan seems to be a different battleground from MP and Chhattisgarh as a key statistic here is that since 1998, the Congress and the BJP have won Vidhan Sabha elections alternately, neither able to retain power for consecutive terms
In the 2013 Rajasthan assembly polls, the BJP had won 45.17 per cent votes, while the Congress had got 33.07 per cent.
However, voters here traditionally haven’t elected the same party to power for two terms in a row and hence anti-incumbency is a major player here than other states.
The results are hard to predict as with the Lok Sabha elections looming large the dynamics of the state polls is different this time and the final stretch of campaigning would be important.