Surveys predict BJP win in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, loss in Punjab

BJP, Congress readying for mandate

How exit polls will direct the markets

Exit polls on the just-concluded assembly elections in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, say that BJP will emerge the biggest party in four states while the fight is between Congress and the AAP in Punjab.

The BJP meet was headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and attended by state party president Vinay Tendulkar as well as Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar.

As mandated by the Election Commission, exit poll results can not be announced by news agencies till 5:30pm on March 9. Today's Chanakya was perhaps the only agency in 2014 to predict that BJP would get more than 70 seats in the state in 2014-at a time when even Amit Shah thought his party would get only around 50 seats.

It was, however, unclear which methodology the various agencies followed to reach the results as the Bombay high court had issued a clear ban on exit polls during the elections. The half-way mark in the Punjab assembly is 59 seats.

Reacting to the exit polls, Amarinder said: "I am optimistic that our party will attain a clear majority with 62-65 seats". Times Now-VMR predicted 190-210 seats for the BJP, 156-169 for SP-Congress and 60-72 for BSP. The incumbent Akali Dal-BJP alliance was predicted staring at a virtual decimation with only 7 seats in the 117-member assembly.

IndiaToday-Axis gave the BJP 46-53 seats and the ruling Congress 12-21 in the state.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party came out of a family feud that saw him dethrone his father Mulayam Singh Yadav as the party chief and seek re-election in partnership with the Congress. Others are expected to win between 6 and 11 seats. We didn't need the exit poll to tell us that, either.

Whatever the result 11 March may hold, it should be noted that Rawat would go down a fighter who managed to take on the might of the entire BJP top brass nearly single handedly.

About 20% of the polling booths in UP, 45% in Punjab, 100% in Goa, and a good number in Manipur were covered with multiple layers of scrutiny involving live webcasting of polls for a smooth election. Exit polls have often gone wrong in the past and with such wide variation in what they are predicting, parties will remain on tenterhooks till the actual counting on Saturday reveals the true picture.

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