Bihar

Bihar Assembly Elections | Exit polls predict clear edge for Mahagathbandhan

An election official marks a voter’s finger with ink at a polling station in Thakurganj, Bihar on November 7, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

As the three-phase Bihar Assembly elections drew to a close on Saturday, exit polls unanimously predicted a clear edge for Rashtriya Janata Dalthe Mahagatbandhan, led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejashvi Yadav. The counting of votes is scheduled for November 10.

Bihar Assembly Elections | Exit polls predict clear edge for Mahagathbandhan
 

A majority of the polls predicted a sharp drop in the number of seats for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led NDA. The BJP, however, is likely to retain its 2015 tally, with some polls predicting a slight increase. For the Mahagathbandhan, polls have predicted a huge jump for the RJD and in particular, popular support for Tejashwi Yadav.

The exit polls have also predicted that the Congress is proving to be the weak link in the Mahagatbandhan and unlikely to pull through their part of the bargain. The Lok Janshakti Party which drew a lot of attention contesting alone outside the NDA, as per exit polls is not any where close to playing the king maker it had expected to. The polls have predicted just between 1-10 seats for Chirag Paswan’s outfit. 

Two of the polls — India Today-Axis and Chankaya-News 18 — predicted a clear sweep for the Mahagatbandhan. The India Today-Axis polls predicted a two-third majority for the Mahagatbandhan with 139 to 161 seats. The NDA, as per the Axis polls will be limited to 69-91 seats. The gamble of contesting alone is unlikely to pay off for the LJP as per these polls, with only 3-5 seats. However, as per the polls, the LJP has impacted the NDA’s fortunes in at least 30 seats. 

The Chankaya-News 18 forecasts that the Mahagathbandhan could win up to 180 seats, far more than the majority mark of 122 for the Bihar Assembly. The poll also claimed that the NDA alliance will shrink to 55 seats. In 2015, BJP’s own tally was 53.

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At least three polls, however, indicated a close contest, suggesting a possible hung assembly. The Republic-Jan Ki Baat poll predicted 128 seats for the Mahagatbandhan and 104 for the NDA. Breaking down the numbers, the polls predicted 80 seat for the RJD, 71 for the JD(U) and 53 for BJP, which is identical to the tally that all these parties had in 2015 polls. 

The ABP exit polls also predicted a similar outcome, giving the Mahagatbandhan 108-131 seats and the NDA 104-128. As per the poll, the RJD will win 81-89 seats, JD(U) just 38-46 seats, shrinking down from 71 it won in 2015. The BJP, it says, will better its 2015 tally, winning between 66-74 seats. 

The News X-DV Research predicted 108-123 seats for the Mahagatbandhan and 110-117 seats for the NDA, predicting that the result could go either way. It also claims that the Lok Janshakti Party could win 4-10 seats. 

The poll from People’s Pulsea group of academicians, has predicted 85-95 seats for the RJD, 65-75 for the BJP, and merely 25-35 for the JD (U). The poll also says the Congress fall from its 2015 tally of 27 to win only 15-20. 

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 12:31:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/bihar-assembly/bihar-assembly-elections-exit-polls-project-edge-for-rjd-led-mahagathbandhan-over-nda/article33048785.ece

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