Pollsters predict BJP-led alliance crossing the half-way mark, rout for Congress
A clutch of exit polls claimed the National Democratic Alliance-led by the BJP will either cross the half-way 272 mark or inch close towards it, suggesting that Narendra Modi will become the next Prime Minister of India.
The certainty of the BJP’s victory was accompanied by predictions that the Congress would record its worst-ever performance in a general election. Almost all surveys suggested a steep fall from the Congress’s impressive 206 seats in 2009, with some reducing the grand old party to a double-digit figure.
The TimesNow-ORG Marg poll allotted 249 seats to the NDA and less than half, 148, to the UPA. According to it, other parties will get about 146 seats. According to the India Today-Cicero poll, the NDA was comfortably placed, winning between 261 and 283 seats; the UPA’s tally was put at between 110 and 120 seats.
The BJP was elated by the predictions, with party president Rajnath Singh saying: “Naturally, this is a reflection of a popular desire for positive change. The people of this country have shown that they want to give a clear majority to a Narendra Modi-led BJP government.”
Modi, on his part, delivered a thanksgiving speech. “…I had never imagined that someone like me would find himself here today. This is the power of democracy and this is the power of Bharat Mata. I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of this journey,” Modi wrote in his blog.
The Congress stated that it does not believe in exit polls and urged the electronic media not to telecast them. The party decided not to participate in any discussions on the polls.
Variations at State level
While there was a broad degree of consensus about the all-India numbers, there were marked variations in predictions at the State and regional levels.
For example, in Rajasthan, where the Congress privately admits it is staring at a rout, the TimesNow-ORG Marg poll showed the Congress winning as many as 14 of the total 25 seats and the BJP victorious only in 10.
Other pollsters were less generous. The ABP-AC Nielsen count notched up 22 seats for the BJP and gave just two seats to the Congress in Rajasthan, while the Headline Today-Cicero poll showed the BJP getting 21-25 seats in the State compared to the Congress that was projected to be reduced to 0-4 seats.
Even more surprising was the TimesNow-ORG Marg estimate for Bihar. It showed the BJP getting a whopping 28 seats, the Janata Dal (United) 10 and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-Congress alliance just two seats. The poor tally for the latter does not correspond with ground reports, which had suggested a rise in Lalu Prasad’s fortunes; also, it did not match what the other exit polls predicted for Bihar.
The ABP-AC Nielsen poll showed the BJP-Lok Janshakti Party alliance getting 21 seats and the RJD-Congress alliance picking up 14 seats. This poll reduced the JD(U) to five seats. The CVoter poll showed the BJP and LJP getting 27 seats in Bihar while the JD(U) was given just two seats. The RJD-Congress alliance, according to this poll, would get six seats in Bihar. The CNN-IBN-CSDS poll showed the BJP getting 21-27 seats while it gave the RJD-Congress alliance 11-15 seats. The JD(U) is expected to get 2-4 seats, said CNN-IBN.
No consensus on TN
There was no consensus for the numbers in Tamil Nadu as well. The TimesNow-ORG Marg poll allotted 31 seats to the AIADMK, seven to the DMK and one to the Congress. According to this poll, the BJP’s multi-party alliance would not win a single seat. However, the CNN-IBN poll gave 22-28 seats to the AIADMK, 7-11 to the DMK, 4-6 to the BJP combine and nothing for the Congress.