BJP may retain power in Goa, wrest power in U’khand; consolation prize for Cong in Punjab
: If the predictions of several of the exit polls, made public on Thursday, for the five states that had Assembly elections in February-March turn out to be true, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to emerge as the most influential leader of India since Indira Gandhi, who had held sway over the country’s political landscape 40 years back.
Findings of at least four exit polls suggested that Modi’s blitzkrieg of public rallies in Uttar Pradesh (UP) could help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) either comfortably cross the majority mark of 202 in the 403-seat UP Assembly, or come close to it.
The BJP, along with ally Apna Dal, had bagged 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2014, winning a staggering 337 of the 403 Assembly segments. At least two exit polls — India Today-Axis and Today’s Chanakya — could come close to that tally by winning up to 285 seats. However, two other exit polls predicted a hung Assembly with the BJP as the single-largest party but the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Congress alliance not far behind and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in third place. As for other states, most exit polls said the BJP was likely to retain power in Goa and wrest power from the Congress in Uttarakhand.
One exit poll, however, predicted a dead heat between the BJP and Congress in Uttarakhand, predicting that both were likely to win 35-seats each in the 70-member Assembly.
In Lucknow, Modi said: “Woh kahate hain Modi hatao; main kehta hoon kaladhan hatao, bhrashtachar hatao (they say remove Modi; I say end black money, end corruption).” ()