Saffron BJP will retain power in Maharashtra and Haryana: Exit polls

f1337d6dbc2c70e2d8b60d7053382728NEW DELHI : The ruling BJP will retain power comfortably in Maharashtra and Haryana, exit polls predicted today for the first election to be held since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in May. The BJP is set for a walkover in both Maharashtra – where it is contesting the polls in an alliance with the Shiv Sena – and Haryana,
BJP appeared set to return to power with a bigger mandate in Maharashtra, where it is in alliance with the Shiv Sena, and Haryana. Exit polls forecast a facile victory for the party in the two states and rout for its rivals led by the Congress. The exit polls varied widely in their projection of seats, but most saw a two-third majority for the saffron alliance in both states.
Both Maharashtra and Haryana went to the polls Monday, voting in a single phase to elect new governments. The BJP is in power in both the states and respective chief ministers — Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra and Manohal Lal Khattar in Haryana — are hoping for second consecutive terms. Elections are being held for 288 seats in Maharashtra and 90 in Haryana.
The results of the Maharashtra assembly elections and the Haryana assembly elections will be out on Thursday, October 24. But before that, we’ll have an indication of what the election results could look like with exit polls.For Maharashtra, the poll of exit polls, or an aggregate of various exit polls, gives the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance 211 of 288 seats and the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 64 seats. A party needs 145 seats for a majority. In Haryana, the BJP is likely to win 66 of 90 seats, predicts the polls of polls, and the Congress may be limited to 14. The majority mark is 46.

The ruling party may see its continuing winning streak as a huge endorsement of big decisions like ending special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, which was the central theme in PM Modi’s rallies in both states.
Two more election wins will also bolster the party at a time the opposition has tried to redirect focus on the economic slump, farmer suicides, the agricultural distress and a jobs crisis. Haryana has the third highest unemployment in the country.

In Maharashtra, where the BJP’s narrative swirled around central issues, opposition leaders like Sharad Pawar tried to take on the ruling party on its performance on issues related to the state. The state has struggled with farm distress and farmer suicides.

If exit polls hit the bullseye, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar will make a comeback regardless of their mixed report card over the past five years.
Neither faced much of an opposition, which ran a listless campaign in both states. A defeat is not unexpected but will further deflate an already dispirited bunch of parties, especially the Congress. The Congress is yet to recover from its crash in the national elections; Rahul Gandhi’s resignation spurred confusion, infighting and multiple exits. Apart from Rahul Gandhi, hardly any top Congress leader campaign in either of the two states.
PM Modi addressed nine rallies in Maharashtra and seven in Haryana. Home Minister Amit Shah addressed 18 rallies in Maharashtra and seven in Haryana. In contrast, Rahul Gandhi addressed five rallies in Maharashtra and two in Haryana. Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed none; her lone rally in Haryana was cancelled and Rahul Gandhi was stand-in.The results of today’s voting will be announced on Thursday.

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