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Judgement day for Haryana: Anti-incumbency haunts Congress, BJP banks on Modi, INLD on sympathy

Exit polls this election have predicted a Bharatiya Janata Party surge in the state and the decimation of Congress.

Pragati Ratti | http://PragatiRatti

Updated:October 18, 2014, 8:07 PM IST
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Judgement day for Haryana: Anti-incumbency haunts Congress, BJP banks on Modi, INLD on sympathy
Exit polls this election have predicted a Bharatiya Janata Party surge in the state and the decimation of Congress.

New Delhi: It is the judgement day in Haryana, which has seen the Congress regime led by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for 10 years. The state saw a record 76 per cent voting in the Assembly elections on October 15. The high voting percentage may well be indicating a change.

Exit polls this election have predicted a Bharatiya Janata Party surge in the state and the decimation of Congress.

It seems that the Modi factor has worked in favour of the BJP, which could garner only 4 seats in the previous Assembly elections in 2009. Just like the 16th Look Sabha elections, the BJP kept its campaign focused around Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He addressed rallies in the interiors of Haryana, even as he was targeted by rivals for doing so. The rivals took on the BJP saying it was banking on Modi since it is leaderless in Haryana.

Undaunted by the criticism, Modi in his rallies took regular jibes at the Hooda government for the Robert Vadra-DLF land deals. He played the corruption and dynasty politics card to garner votes for the BJP.

While the BJP hopes to ride on the Modi wave and emerge victorious, the Indian National Lok Dal is banking on the name of convicted and jailed party chief Om Prakash Chautala. The INLD says that Chautala has been targeted wrongly in the teachers' recruitment scam. Chautala was sent back to jail just days before elections. The INLD is confident of having garnered sympathy votes saying their party's old man hasn't been treated fair.

Both the BJP and the INLD are seeing the winds of anti-incumbency blowing in their favour. But Chief Minister Hooda says there is no anti-incumbency in the state and is looking at the CM throne for the third time. The Congress has kept its campaign centred around development.

However, with its humiliating loss in the Lok Sabha elections, its star campaigners Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were rarely seen campaigning. The party is banking on its local candidates' visibility and campaigns in their respective constituencies. But the exit polls have predicted a complete washout of the Congress from Haryana, bringing it down to a meagre 10 seats.

Despite the exit polls showing a Congress debacle, Hooda is confident of becoming the Chief Minister yet again in the election that sees many voters sticking to loyalties. On the other hand, even as OP Chautala is in the jail, the INLD has made it clear that he will be the CM.

However, the BJP has still kept its cards close to its chest. While many names such as Manoharlal Khattar (Karnal candidate) and Ambala Anil Viz are doing the rounds, there is no clarity yet on who will be the CM if the BJP wins. Sources even say that Faridabad MP and Minister of State for Road Transport Krishanpal Gujjar may also be made the CM if Tigaon candidate Rajesh Nagar wins.

It is only after the final picture emerges on Sunday that the state will know who will be its next leader. From what the exit polls show, the loyalties in Haryana are well shifting.

2009 Assembly election results

Total Seats - 90
Congress - 40
INLD - 31
HJC - 6
BJP - 4
BSP - 1
SAD - 1
Independents - 7

Key Candidates

Congress
Bhupinder Singh Hooda - Garhi Sampla - Kiloi
Kuldeep Sharma - Gannaur
Savitri Jindal - Hisar
Randeep Singh Surjewala - Kaithal
Sampath Singh - Nalwa
Captain Ajay Yadav - Rewari
Kiran Chaudhury - Tosham
Geeta Bhukkal - Jhajjar

INLD
Abhay Singh Chautala - Ellenabad
Naina Singh Chautala - Dabawali
Dushyant Singh Chautala - Uchana Kalan
Ashok Arora - Thanesar

BJP
Capt. Abhimanyu - Narnaund
Ram Bilas Sharma - Mahendragarh
Vandana Sharma - Safidon

OTHERS
Kudip Bishnoi - Adampur - HJC
Chander Mohan - Nalwa - HJC
Renuka Bishnoi - Hansi - HJC
Gopal Kanda - Sirsa - HLP
Venod Sharma - Ambala City - HJC
Arvind Sharma - Yamunanagar and Rai - BSP

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