The national rivals BJP and Congress had piping hot field days during the campaign trails in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls as both the parties locked horns to end the year with a big electoral success. As the voters' verdict is final, both the elections had a nationwide watch and three days ahead of the vote counting, the exit polls were released with the predictions that indicate that neither BJP nor the Congress would have a complete success.
Gujarat went to the polls in two phases on December 1 and 5 while Himachal Pradesh hosted the polls on November 12. The counting of votes in both states will take place on December 8. Both the states are ruled by BJP and the Gujarat polls were closely watched for several factors including being Prime Minister's Narendra Modi and Home Minister's Amit Shah home state and whether BJP would retain its decades-long pro-incumbency wave.
What made the race even more interesting is the competitive track set up Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is assaying to expand its base across the country and to surge as a staunch rival to the BJP. As the trio wait to embrace the voters' verdict, the exit polls presented them with the predictions that equally shocked and surprised the leaders. All the exit polls, done by different agencies, had echoed the same trend in both the states that the BJP will retain its reign in Gujarat while Himachal Pradesh would witness a hung assembly.
The exit polls had predicted that despite facing a setback in the last leg of campaign, BJP will have a landslide majority and will triumph in Gujarat. BJP's big victory in Gujarat is most likely possible as the other parties including the Congress and AAP are far behind the BJP, which displayed that both the parties have failed to build a momentum against the BJP. In Himachal Pradesh, BJP and Congress would face a nail-biting fight as they are very close to the majority numbers while AAP won't open its account in the hilly state.
Gujarat has 182 seats in the assembly and the parties that cross the majority mark of 92 will form the government. All the exit polls have predicted that BJP will win between 117 to 151 seats in Gujarat while the Congress could get 16 to 51 seats. AAP was projected to win between 2 to13 seats. On the other hand, Himachal Pradesh has 68 seats in the assembly with the majority mark of 35. The exit polls had predicted that the BJP will get between 24 to 41 seats in Himachal Pradesh while the Congress could bag 20 to 40 seats.
AAP would have a grave setback in Himachal Pradesh and the Congress can have a breather as the grand old party, which is predicted to have a disastrous defeat in Gujarat, would hold the edge in Himachal Pradesh with a possibility of forming the government with the support of independent candidates. If Congress forms a government in Himachal Pradesh, it would oust the BJP reign. The predictions show that the parties would less likely touch the majority of 35 and though they would cross the majority, both the Congress and BJP would rely on the independent candidates to increase their numbers in the assembly.
Different equations, same results
The exit polls had revealed their different equations and same results that BJP will triumph in Gujarat while Himachal Pradesh will witness a hung assembly. According to PTI, the Aaj Tak- Axis My India predicted 129-151 seats for BJP in Gujarat while Congress and AAP could bag 16-30 and 9-21 seats respectively. ABP News C-Voter predicted 128-140 seats for BJP, 31-43 seats for Congress and 3-11 seats for AAP. News 24- Today's Chanakya predicted that BJP will win 150 seats, Congress will end up bagging 19 seats and AAP will get 11 seats.
News X - Jan Ki Baat exit polls on Gujarat elections show that BJP will get 117-140 seats, Congress- NCP will get 34-51 seats, and AAP will win 6-13 seats. Republic TV P-MARQ predicted that BJP will win 128-148 seats, Congress-NCP could bag 30-42 seats, and AAP will end up getting 2-10 seats. TV9 Gujarati predicted that the BJP would get 125-130 seats while Congress-NCP and AAP can secure 40-50 and 3-5 seats respectively.
According to India TV-Matrize exit poll, the BJP will likely get 112-121 seats, Congress will get 51-61 seats, and AAP will bag 1-7 seats. Zee News- BARC poll showed that the BJP would win 110-125 seats, Congress would get 45-60 seats, while 1-5 seats would go to AAP's kitty. Several other exit polls including the predictions published by India Today and Times Now have gone in favour of BJP, giving a clear majority for the party to retain its reign.
On the other hand, in Himachal Pradesh, Aaj Tak- Axis My India had predicted a close contest between the BJP and Congress. It has said that the BJP would get 24-34 seats and the Congress would get 30-40 seats. News 24-Today's Chanakya predicted that BJP will bag 33 seats and that there will be a hung assembly. While ABP News C-Voter said that the BJP will get 33-41 seats and Congress would secure 24-32 seats, India TV had predicted that the BJP will bag 35-40 seats, Congress would bag 26-31 seats, and AAP will win zero seats.
News X- Jan Ki Baat survey predicted that BJP will secure 32-40 seats, Congress can get 27-34 seats. While Republic TV P-MARQ predicted that the BJP would get 34-39 seats, Congress and AAP would win 28-33 and 0-1 seats respectively. In its prediction, Zee News - BARC said that BJP is expected to get 35-40 seats while Congress will get 20-25 seats. The exit poll from Times Now - ETG shown that BJP will get 38 seats and Congress would end up getting 28 seats.
In Gujarat, BJP has contested in all 182 seats while the Congress had contested in 179 seats and its alliance Nationalist Congress Party fielded its candidates in two seats. Aam Aadmi Party has contested in 180 seats. Currently, BJP has 110 seats in Gujarat and its most likely that it will triumph more seats than its current strength. In Himachal Pradesh, both the BJP and Congress contested in all 68 seats while Aam Aadmi Party fielded its candidates in 67 seats.