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Exit polls predict BJP win in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa; loss in Punjab

New Delhi: After the staggering exercise of month-long Assembly polls across five states, the exit poll predictions on Thursday threw up varied outcomes. While VMR, MRC, Axis and Today’s Chanakya predicted a saffron surge in the high-stake Uttar Pradesh elections, exit polls conducted by Lokniti and C-Voter indicated a hung Assembly, predicting that the BJP and SP-Congress alliance will be neck and neck in the race.

All exit polls were, however, unanimous in predicting a complete rout of BSP supreme Mayawati in UP and the SAD-BJP combine in Punjab. With the spectre of a hung Assembly looming large, SP chief and UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav took the first step in proposing an alliance with his party’s arch rival, Ms Mayawati. In an interview to BBC Hindi radio, Mr Yadav said that if the SP-Congress combine fell short of a majority, they would not mind “joining hands with Mayawati’s BSP in a bid to keep BJP out of the state”, and because “nobody wants Presidents’ rule in the state.” He, however, was hopeful of SP-Congress getting majority on their own.

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The BSP supremo has not yet reacted to SP’s overtures.  The exit polls also threw up contradictory predictions for Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. While the BJP camp began chest thumping following the predictions by exit polls, the Congress adopted a policy of wait and watch.

Modi mania to continue: Polls
If the majority of the exit polls are to be believed, the Modi mania continues to sweep Uttar Pradesh. Of the 403 Assembly berths in UP, India Today-Axis projected 251 to 279 seats to the BJP, 88-112 to SP-Congress and 28-42 seats to BSP. Today’s Chanakya toed a similar line and predicted 285 seats to BJP, 88 to SP-Congress and 27 to BSP. Times Now-VMR predicted 190-210 seats for the BJP, 156-169 for SP-Congress and 60-72 for BSP. NewsX-MRC indicated 185 seats for BJP, 120 for SP-Congress and 90 for BSP. The magic figure to form government in UP is 202. As for India Today-Axis, the BJP is forming government in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

Predicting a hung assembly in UP, ABP-Lokniti projected 164-176 for BJP, 156-169 for SP-Congress, 60-72 for BSP. India TV C-Voter gave 155-167 seats to BJP, 135 to 147 for SP-Congress and 81 to 93 for BSP.

As for Punjab, with 117 Assembly seats, India Today-Axis predicted a Congress victory with 62-71 seats. It projected 42-51 for AAP and 4-7 for SAD-BJP. Today’s Chanakya predicted a tie between Congress and AAP by projecting 54 seats for both the parties. Similarly News X-MRC predicted a tie between Congress and AAP by indicating that they’ll get 55 seats each. India TV C-Voter put its money on AAP by giving the party 59-67 seats, while projecting 41-49 seats for the Congress.

Majority of the exit polls predicted a BJP government in Uttarakhand. Of the 71 Assembly berths in Uttarakhand, India Today-Axis predicted a BJP sweep with 46-53 seats, giving 12-21 seats to the Congress.  Predicting on similar lines, Today's Chanakya gave the BJP 53 seats and the Congress 15. ABP Lokniti projected 34-42 seats for BJP and 23-29 seats for Congress. India TV C-Voter projected a tie by predicting 29-35 seats for both Congress and BJP.

In Goa, with 40 Assembly berths, pollsters predicted BJP's return to power. Of the 60 Assembly berths in Manipur, the India Today-Axis predicted Congress getting between and BJP managing 16-22 seats.


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