BJP seems to be winning Uttar Pradesh elections as most of the exit polls predicted it to be the single largest party in the keenly-fought elections. According to the CNN IBN exit poll results released on Thursday, BJP has secured a clear lead in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017 with 185 seats, but falling short of majority needed to form the government in the state. According to the poll, the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance has secured 120, while the Bahujan Samaj Party has got around 90 seats. Other parties have secured 9 seats. The election results will not only decide who will rule the state, but it will also be a precursor for the 2019 general elections. In an interview to news agency BBC, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav said he will do anything to keep the BJP out.
Meanwhile, here are the exit poll results from other news agencies:
India Today | SP+Congress (120), BJP (185), BSP (90), Others (9)
Times Now | SP-Congress (110-130), BJP (190-210), BSP (57-74), Others (8)
ABP | SP-Congress (156-169), BJP (164-176), BSP (60-72), Others (2-6)
India News | SP-Congress (120), BJP (185), BSP (90), Others (8)
India TV | SP-Congress (135-147), BJP (155-167), BSP (81-93), Others (8-20)
VMR exit poll predicts 200 seats for BJP, 120 for SP-Congress alliance, 64 for BSP
News 24 | BJP (285), SP-Congress (88), BSP (27), Others (3)
Earlier, in the day, both Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party locked horns claiming they have an edge in the politically-charged state. AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad seemed confident when he said that the SP-Congress alliance will achieve two-third majority.
In a statement to the media, Azad claimed that the other parties don’t even stand a chance given how hard the alliance has worked. He added that no other alliance has even been as successful as this one, adding that Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh have worked very hard.
Azad took a dig at the BJP, claiming the party is actually fighting for the second or third position. Meanwhile, BJP’s UP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance will be shocked after seeing the final result on March 11. He claimed the BJP will cross 300, saying that according to feedback he has gathered from different areas, UP will see a BJP government after 14 years. In a statement to news agency ANI, Maurya said that people want development in the state, and want an end to hooliganism.
The UP assembly elections are crucial for the Bharatiya Janata Party as it has been out of power in the state for 15 years. Amid all the hectic campaigning, the BJP has not projected a chief ministerial candidate and sought votes in the name of development. The Congress, on the other hand, hasn’t done well in the recent elections and has played a smaller partner in the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in the state. An eventual victory for the alliance in UP will give the Congress a much-needed advantage in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed confidence that the BJP would win the state polls with an “absolute” majority. When the home minister was asked about his party’s prospects in the state, he told news agency PTI, “We will get absolute majority”, but stayed away from answering a question by a reporter on the party’s chief ministerial candidate if it comes to power.
The BJP would need at least 202 seats to secure a majority in the 403-seat assembly in the state, where voting ended on Wednesday. If no groups wins a majority, the political parties are expected to try to form a governing coalition.