With counting inching towards a conclusion, Rajasthan looks like a done deal for Congress, with the grand old party leading in 107 seats — a gain of a whopping 86 seats from their 2013 state polls result. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other hand, is down 94 seats from its thumping majority in 2013 and is currently leading in 68 seats in the state.
The leads reflect the exit poll numbers that came out on Tuesday evening after polling in Rajasthan. From a total of 200 seats in Rajasthan, India Today-Axis poll had put Congress anywhere in the range of 119 to 141 seats, while predicting a loss of about a 100 seats for the BJP. According to the poll, the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP would fall short of the mark and get anywhere between 55-72 seats.
The Times Now CNX poll had given more conservative estimate and predicted 105 seats for Congress, handing 85 seats to the BJP and two seats to other parties and independents. The News X Neta poll also gave a majority result for Congress, predicting 112 seats for the party, which — in light of leads coming in — seems to be the most accurate prediction of results in Rajasthan. The News X poll gave BJP 80 seats and predicted seven seats for other parties.
The C Voter poll on Republic TV had also predicted a Congress win in the state. It had handed Congress 137 seats and predicted 60 for the BJP. The only poll to give BJP an edge in the state was the ‘Jan Ki Baat’ poll on Republic TV. The poll had predicted a photo finish in Rajasthan, handing BJP 83 to 103 seats, Congress 81 to 101 seats and 15 seats for others and independents.
While the exit poll numbers had accurately predicted a majority finish for Congress, several of them overestimated the final count for BJP.
One number that every exit poll got wrong was the tally for ‘Other’ candidates. Most had given a conservative estimate, with the maximum tally of 15 seats predicted by Republic TV’s ‘Jan Ki Baat’. On counting day, however, non-BJP and non-Congress parties have made considerable gains in the state, with ‘Others’ leading in 24 seats.
Twelve independent candidates appear to be leading in 12 seats, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on 5 and Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) on 3 seats.
In addition to a positive result in Rajasthan, Congress also swept Chhattisgarh, leading in 66 seats out of a total 90. The results in Madhya Pradesh are also going down the wire, with Congress holding a slight edge over BJP. If Congress wins all three heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the results will represent a big blow to the BJP.