Split verdict in UP but SP largest party: Exit polls

New Delhi : All exits polls announced Saturday predicted a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh, putting the Samajwadi Party on top of a mainly four-horse race in the state while Congress was coming to power in Uttarakhand and retaining it in Manipur.

There will be a close race for power between the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) combine but no absolute winners in Punjab, according to the surveys.

Star News-Nielsen Exit poll gave Mulayam Singh Yadav’s party 183 seats, just 19 short of the magic figure of 202 required to form the new state government.

While India TV-C Voter exit poll gave 141 seats to the Samajwadi Party, News 24-Chanakya gave it a much higher 185 seats.

Staggered polling to pick the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly ended Saturday.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is predicted to get just 83 seats, indicating disillusionment with Chief Minister Mayawati, accoding to Star News-Nielsen survey.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be the third largest party in the state with a tally of 71 seats.

The Congress will be the fourth with 51 seats and its poll partner Rashtriya Lok Dal getting 11.

If the predictions come true on the result day of March 6, the Congress will be more than doubling its figure of 22 in 2007.

But according to the India TV poll, the Congress is predicted to get only 36 seats and the BJP will do much better with 83 seats.

According to exit polls conducted by News 24-Chanakya, the BSP will get only 85 seats, followed by the BJP and Congress with 55 seats each.

The CNN-IBN-The Week-CSDS survey also suggested a Samajwadi wave sweeping the Uttar Pradesh elections with 34 percent vote share – nine up from the 2007 elections.

The Congress and the BJP both rejected the exit poll rejects saying they would rather wait for the final results to be announced March 6.

“It is better to wait till the final results are out. We are surely going to well in all the states where were contested election,” union minister and senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar said.

BJP’s Ravishankar Prasad echoed the view and said “exit polls are exit polls”.

In Punjab, the SAD-BJP alliance may win by a narrow margin, says the News24 study.

According to the CNN-IBN survey, the SAD-BJP is expected to finish as the topper and will retain 51-63 seats. This is less than its 2007 tally of 68.

The Congress will be a close second at 48-60 seats. Its 2007 tally was 44.

There is however a good news for the Congress in Uttarakhand where it could score a decisive victory with 60 seats in the 117-member house, according to News24 poll.

The Congress is projected to win 31-41 seats and the ruling BJP, on the other hand, may end up with 22-32 seats as opposed to 34 in 2007, according to the CNN-IBN survey .

In Manipur, the Congress is likely to retain the power with Ibobi Singh set for a third term in the state. In a 60-member assembly, the Congress is projected to get 24-32 seats. Its 2007 tally was 30.

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