Exit polls predict big majority for BJP in Guj; neck and neck in HP
New Delhi: Exit polls on Monday predicted a big majority for the BJP in Gujarat and a dead heat in Himachal Pradesh where most pollsters gave an edge to the ruling party over the Congress.
The counting of votes in both states will take place on December 8. Elections for the Himachal Pradesh assembly took place on November 12, while polling in Gujarat happened in two phases on December 1 and 5.
All exit polls predicted a big mandate for the BJP in Gujarat in the range of 117-151 seats in the 182-member assembly, while the Congress was predicted to bag seats in the range of 16-51 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was projected to bag anything between two and 13 seats. The majority mark in Gujarat is 92.
In Himachal Pradesh, the exit polls projected a range of 24-41 seats for the BJP and 24-40 seats for the Congress. The majority mark is 35 seats.
While the Aaj Tak-Axis My India predicted 129-151 seats for the BJP, 16-30 seats for the Congress and 9-21 seats for the Aam Aadmi Party, ABP News C-Voter predicted 128-140 seats for the BJP, 31-43 for the Congress and 3-11 for AAP.
News 24-Today's Chanakya also predicted a huge majority for the BJP in Gujarat with its survey stating that the BJP was likely to get 150, Congress 19 and AAP 11.
News X-Jan Ki Baat exit poll on Gujarat elections said the BJP was likely to get 117-140 seats, Congress-NCP 34-51, AAP 6-13 and others 1-2.
Republic TV P-MARQ predicted 128-148 seats for the BJP, 30-42 for the Congress-NCP, AAP 2-10 and others 0-3. TV9 Gujarati forecast that the BJP would get 125-130 seats, Congress-NCP 40-50, AAP 3-5 and others 3-7.
For Himachal Pradesh, Aaj Tak-Axis My India predicted a close contest between the Congress and the BJP. It said the BJP would get 24-34 seats and the Congress 30-40 seats.
News 24-Today's Chanakya also pointed to a cliffhanger in Himachal Pradesh, predicting 33 seats for both the BJP and the Congress with a margin of plus-minus seven seats for both.
While ABP News C-Voter said the BJP was likely to get 33-41 seats and Congress 24-32, India TV predicted that the BJP would bag 35-40 seats, Congress 26-31 and AAP zero.
News X-Jan Ki Baat survey said the BJP was likely to get 32-40 seats in the hill state, Congress 27-34 and AAP zero.
While Republic TV P-MARQ predicted that the BJP would get 34-39, Congress 28-33 and AAP 0-1, the Times Now-ETG said the average seats BJP was likely to get was 38 and the Congress 28.
Meanwhile, as the voting for the second phase of Gujarat assembly election concluded on Monday, a voter turnout of 59.19 per cent was recorded till 5 pm across 93 seats in the final phase of the state assembly polls. The voting turnout reported in the second phase is nearly 10 percent lesser than the polling percentage registered in these constituencies in 2017.
According to the Election Commission (EC), barring a few untoward incidents, the polling was peaceful in the 93 assembly seats spread across 14 districts of north and central regions of Gujarat, where 833 candidates were in the fray.
The state administration received multiple complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPATs from many places due to which voting at those booths was impacted.
The final voter turnout in the second phase of the 2017 assembly election on these 93 seats stood at 69.99 per cent. The turnout in the first phase of the 2022 elections across 89 assembly seats, where voting took place on December 1, was 63.31 per cent. Gujarat, which has a 182-member House, had registered 68.41 per cent voting in the assembly polls five years ago.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home minister Amit Shah, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Sukhram Rathva of the Congress were prominent among those who cast their votes in the second and final phase of elections.
The electoral fate of CM Patel of the BJP and 832 other candidates in the fray in the second phase, including 285 Independents, was locked in the EVMs.
District-wise, Sabarkantha recorded the highest voting at 65.84 per cent. Ahmedabad district recorded the lowest turnout at 53.57 per cent till 5 pm. In Vadodara, it was 58 per cent, the EC said.
Prime Minister Modi voted at a polling station at Nishan High School in Ahmedabad city's Ranip area in the morning. His centenarian mother Hiraba Modi cast her ballot at a polling station in Gandhinagar district. Shah exercised his franchise at a municipal centre in Naranpura locality of Ahmedabad city.
AAP leader Gadhvi voted at a booth in Ghuma locality. Gadhvi is the AAP candidate from the Khambhalia seat in Devbhumi Dwarka district where polling was held in the first phase on December 1.
Apart from CM Bhupendra Patel, BJP leaders Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor, and Congress leader Jignesh Mevani were among those in the fray in the second phase of polls.
Voting began at 8 am across 14,975 polling stations. The poll body said 41 ballot units, 40 control units and 109 voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) were replaced due to malfunctioning during the initial hours of voting.