Exit Polls: Close Battle Between Congress and BJP in Hindi Belt; BRS on Backfoot in Telangana

Soon after polling ended on November 30, the exit polls for five states – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram – which voted to elect new assemblies were released.

New Delhi: The exit polls show a close contest between the Congress and the BJP in the three Hindi-belt states – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and MP – with various agencies giving a slight edge to one over another.

Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

Soon after polling ended on November 30, the exit polls for five states – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram – which voted this month to elect new assemblies were released. Among these states, the first two had Congress governments and the third BJP. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) is in power in Telangana while the regional Mizo National Front (MNF) is at the helm in the northeastern state.

In Rajasthan, the Axis India Today survey – which has the best record of getting its exit polls right – threw up a surprise when it predicted that Congress under the leadership of Ashok Gehlot may lead the BJP by a slight margin. Previous opinion polls believed that the state would follow its historic precedent of voting out the incumbent government and predicted a comfortable victory for the BJP. Most other exit polls, however, gave the edge to the BJP.

At the same time, the exit polls in Chhattisgarh also showed a neck-and-neck fight between the Congress and BJP, again contradicting previous opinion polls that showed a comfortable victory for the incumbent Congress. The Axis India Today poll gave a slight edge to the Congress.

In Madhya Pradesh too, the two parties are engaged in a close battle, the polls show. However, the Axis India Today poll predicted a landslide victory for the BJP in the state.

In Telangana, the grand old party may shock the BRS and chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR), some polls showed while others predicted a close contest. The BJP could play spoilsport if it splits the anti-incumbency role, while Asaduddin Owaisi’s MIM will throw its numbers behind the BRS.

In Mizoram, the Mizo National Front (MNF) led by chief minister Zoramthanga is in a close battle with fellow regional player Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNF). The Congress may have a say in the outcome if a hung assembly is elected while the BJP may fail to make any impact.

Rajasthan (Majority mark: 100)

BJP Congress Others
India Today-Axis My India 80-100 86-106 8-16
ABP News-C Voter 94-114 71-91 9-19
Jan Ki Baat 100-122 62-85 14-15
India TV- CNX 80-90 94-104 14-18
Times Now-ETG 108-128 56-72 13-21
News 24 – Today’s Chanakya 77-101 89-113 2-16

Madhya Pradesh (Majority mark: 115)

BJP Congress Others
India Today – Axis My India 140-162 68-90 0-3
ABP News – C Voter 88-112 113-137 2-8
Jan Ki Baat 100-123 102-125 5
News 24 – Today’s Chanakya 151 74 5
Times Now – ETG 105-117 109-125 1-5
India TV – CNX 140-159 70-89 0-2

Chhattisgarh (Majority mark: 45)

BJP Congress Others
ABP News – C Voter 36-48 41-53 1-5
India Today-Axis My India 36-46 40-50 1-5
Jan Ki Baat 34-45 44-52 0-2
India TV-CNX 30-40 46-56 3-5
News 24-Today’s Chanakya 33 57 0
Times Now – ETG 32-40 48-56 2-4

Telangana (Majority mark: 60)

BJP Congress BRS Others
News 24 – Today’s Chanakya 7 71 33 0
ABP News – C Voter 5-13 49-65 38-54 5-9
India TV-CNX 2-4 63-79 31-47 5-7
Jan Ki Baat 7-13 48-64 40-55 4-7

Mizoram (Majority mark: 20)

MNF ZPM Congress BJP
Jan Ki Baat 10-14 15-25 5-9 0-2
ABP News-C Voter 15-21 12-18 2-8 0
India TV-CNX 14-18 12-16 8-10 0-2
India Today- Axis My India 3-7 28-35 2-4 0-2