Will exit polls deliver win to Modi?
Even as most exit polls today projected a clear win for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a record turnout of 70 per cent polling in the state has led to intense speculation over the outcome of the intense battle.
An estimated 70 per cent polling today on the back of a record turnout of 70.75 per cent during the first phase on Thursday has forced people to keep their fingers crossed till the last vote is counted and result declared on December 20 in the industrial state in Western India.
However, exit poll conducted by C-Voter gave Modi's BJP a clear win in the range of 119-129 seats in the 182-member Assembly, while an exit poll by Gujarati regional newspaper Chanakya gave him 140 seats.
The Aaj Tak-ORG exit poll says BJP is likely to get 118-128 seats, while the Congress will fall from its 2007 tally of 59 to something between 50-56. The Gujarat Parivartan Party of Keshubhati Patel will get just 1-2 seats.
The results of three exit polls indicate that Modi will be Gujarat CM for a third term.
Even the ABP-AC Nielsen poll that gives Modi the least amount of seats, predicts 116 seats for BJP.
But Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia has rejected the C-Voter and Chanakya exit poll results, saying they do not reflect ground reality.
He told a news television channel that Congress was still confident it has done well and it would be known on December 20.
The ABP-AC Nielsen exit poll has predicted Keshubhai rout in Saurashtra region and a massive victory for the BJP in the Saurashtra-Kutch region. The exit poll has broken down the regions of Gujarat as follows: South Gujarat: BJP 27, Congress 6, GPP 01, Others 01.
Central Gujarat: Congress 22, BJP 15, Others 03.
BJP's psephologist G V L Narasimha Rao expects a better result than the 2007 figures (120-125 seats) which would mean more than two-third majority.
In Himachal Pradesh, the exit polls gave Congress a good chance in a close fight. The Congress is expected to pick 34 followed by BJP's 30 seats, leaving one to five seats to others in the 68-member assembly.
Reacting to the exit poll results, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said he did not agree with the figures and said BJP would be in a position to form the Government on its own.
The election in the hill state were held on November 4, while in Gujarat it was conducted in two phases on December 13 and and December 17.