Updated: December 14, 2017 9:50:28 pm
Exit polls by various TV channels on Thursday predicted a massive win for the BJP in Himachal Pradesh, giving it a clear majority in the keenly-contested Assembly elections in the state. Most of the exit polls suggested a comfortable majority for the saffron party with 40 plus seats at their disposal. The incumbent government Congress, on the other hand, is predicted to bag 18 to 20 seats, in the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly.
The India Today-Axis My India poll have forecasted 47 to 55 seats for BJP and 13 to 20 seats for Congress. Similar results have also been predicted by the News 24 survey. The exit poll by Times Now also puts BJP at the lead with 51 seats. According to the poll by News X, BJP is predicted to win 46 seats, Congress 21 seats and others are expected to have one seat. Th survey by ABP also gives BJP a heads-up with 38 seats. Interestingly, none of the polls have given Congress the numbers required to form a majority government (35) in the hilly state. See in Pictures
After the exit polls were announced, an air of excitement could be sensed in the BJP camp in the state. BJP chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal was given a rousing welcome by candidates and party workers who had assembled in Bilaspur for a day-long meeting to chart a roadmap for the future. Stating that the exit poll results were much on the expected lines, Dhumal said, “Himachal Pradesh ki janta ne dil khol ke vote diye. We had set a target of 50-plus seats and I am confident we will be achieving that goal and may exceed it too.”
Congress, on the other hand, rejected the exit poll results saying that they are not “exact polls results.” “We will wait until the final counting numbers on December 18. The Congress is certainly in a comfortable position to get a majority,” PCC chief Sukhwinder Sukhu said.
Since 1985, Himachal Pradesh has elected Congress and BJP governments alternately. While six-time CM Virbhadra Singh enjoys huge popularity in the state, he also carries the weight of anti-incumbency and corruption cases against him.
Himachal Pradesh had voted on November 9. The results will be announced on December 18.