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Bihar exit polls predict close finish

Bihar exit polls predict close finish
Highlights

With the staggered polling in the elections to the 243 seats of the Bihar Assembly coming to an end on Thursday, all eyes now turned towards the exit polls which began streaming their findings by the evening.

New Delhi: With the staggered polling in the elections to the 243 seats of the Bihar Assembly coming to an end on Thursday, all eyes now turned towards the exit polls which began streaming their findings by the evening.

As millions across got glued to their television sets across the country, the suspense over the outcome only continued with each predicting a variant prediction.

The India Today-Cicero post-poll survey projected an advantage for the BJP and its allies with 120 of Bihar's 243 seats and 117 for the Nitish Kumar-led 'Grand Alliance'. That would perhaps please the BJP and its allies much.

Contradicting the same sharply, the News X, predicted only 90-100 for the BJP and up to 140 for the Grand Alliance.

The Times Now-CVoter exit poll too has predicted an edge for the Grand Alliance. It has projected that the anti-BJP alliance will get 122 seats and the BJP along with its allies will get 111. Though the final voting percentage and hence the final figures are not yet completely out, the summation of the exit polls tells us that it could be tight rope walk for either groups in the elections which could mean a hung Assembly too.

While the BJP headquarters is all confidence over the outcome in their favour, it was also not clear whether it would win hands down or just manage to win in the photo finish.

Sources in the party admit "this could be a tight walk. Let us see. But, exit polls need not be the indicator. Our own sources say that we are securing a majority on our own".

A confident Lalu Prasad Yadav went ahead to predict the 'ghar wapsi" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Gujarat. Addressing a press conference in Patna on Thursday evening he said his alliance would nearly bag 190 seats at least.

The BJP on the other hand feels a higher turnout means a vote for change and Nitish Kumar's ouster. The Nitish camp, like Lalu, feels the Yadav-Muslim-dalit combine has done the trick for them in the backdrop of the controversial comments of the BJP leaders in the recent times. "The divisive politics of the BJP were not accepted by the Biharis who voted out the Bahari leaders", sources said.

It may be recalled that the BJP did not project any one as its Chief Minister candidate and the Prime Minster, Narendra Modi, took it upon himself to work for the NDA candidates touring the State extensively. In the last 40 days or so, he had addressed 26 public meetings.

Though Amit Shah did the ground work and addressed rallies, Modi became the main stay of the BJP and its allies’ campaign making it almost a Modi vs the rest slanging match.

As the campaign reached its crescendo, speeches became less civilized and strong words flew thick and fast in describing the opponents.

Several issues are linked to the outcome of Bihar elections and it is being seen as a game changer by many. The opposition could unite once again strongly in taking on the BJP and stalling all government business in the Parliament including the crucial pending bills if it sweeps the elections.

All anti-Modi and anti-BJP voices would get emboldened if this happens and a rejuvenated campaign would be launched against the policies of the Modi Government by trade unions, intellectuals and organizations stacked with anti-BJP forces in the managements.

If the results go in favour of the BJP, the Modi juggernaut would continue to roll by demolishing several political careers in the Opposition.

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