Exit polls for five Indian states in elections, billed as the semi-final before next year's general elections, predict a worrying outcome for the BJP in three heartland states, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
An aggregate of exit polls shows the BJP's winning streak is set to end in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, both heading for hung verdict. The Congress is tipped to win a clear majority in Rajasthan. The party is likely to lose Mizoram and K Chandrashekar Rao will retain Telangana, the exit polls say.
For Madhya Pradesh, exit polls see both BJP and Congress going neck and neck but falling short of a clear majority in the 230-member assembly. According to an aggregate of 10 exit polls, the BJP will get 110 seats in the state, while the Congress will get 109 seats. The halfway mark is at 115. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party will get 2 seats.
The Congress is likely to get a clear majority in Rajasthan, while the two other states, where the BJP has been in power for three terms, are likely to deliver a hung verdict, reported NDTV Online. The Congress is likely to lose Mizoram, and K Chandrashekar Rao will retain Telangana, the exit polls predicted.
In Chhattisgarh too, the BJP might have cause to worry, if the exit polls are to be believed. The BJP, led by Chief Minister Raman Singh, will get 40 of the state's 90 seats, while the Congress will win 43.
Rajasthan, which has not voted for the same party for two consecutive terms in the last 20 years, will this time pick the Congress, continuing the trend, according to the poll of exit polls. In the 200-member assembly, the BJP will win 78 seats and the Congress 112.
In Telangana, India's youngest state which voted for the second time yesterday, exit polls show Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekar Rao's gamble of dissolving the state assembly eight months before schedule paying off. The TRS will get 64 of the state's 119 assembly seats, where the majority mark is at 61. The Congress-Chandrababu Naidu combine will get 41 seats and the BJP five seats.
Mizoram, one of the four states where the Congress is still in power, will vote out the Congress but end up with a split verdict. The aggregate of two exit polls shows the Congress getting only 16 seats in the 40-member assembly. The MNF, it predicts, will get 18 seats. The BJP, the exit polls predict, will have to wait longer to open its account in the state and ruling the entire northeast.
The exit polls came in as Rajasthan and Telangana voted yesterday. Chhattisgarh voted in two phases on November 12 and November 20, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram voted on November 28.
The contests are seen as a dry run for 2019, with Modi and his likely rival from the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi -- scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty -- both campaigning actively.