NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his third year in office next week with the promise of respite from recent electoral losses in Bihar and Delhi with exit polls on Monday showing his party could form its first government in Assam following recent polls.
The exit polls said Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have voted for change, spelling more trouble for the Congress party, which would be losing power in two states it has ruled — Kerala and Assam.
The Congress is expected to suffer a further loss of face in West Bengal where its controversial alliance with communists does not seem to have yielded much joy. The surveys said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party would comfortably win a second term in office.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) will make up for its loss of face in West Bengal with a predicted victory in Kerala, unseating its Bengal ally – Congress — in power in the southern state. The BJP is predicted to make some electoral gains in both the states earlier ruled by the communists.
If the exist polls are right, which they are not always able to be, the Congress will get a consolation prize in Tamil Nadu, where the DMK party is hoping to unseat chief minister J. Jayalalitha.
Only West Bengal has bucked the trend of change by re-electing Ms Banerjee who, according to the surveys, has managed to hold on to power by defeating the Left-Congress alliance convincingly for a second consecutive term.
The Congress could take solace also from its projected victory in the tiny Union Territory of Puducherry where it is likely to get power in alliance with the DMK.
The exit poll results were released at the end of the polling in Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Monday, marking the closure of voting in four states and Puducherry. Counting of votes will take place on May 19.
In Assam, where BJP has high stakes, it could get its maiden government with India Today-Axis-My India polls giving the saffron alliance 79-93 seats in a House of 126. Congress has been projected to get 26-33.
The ABP Ananda poll gave the BJP alliance 81 seats and Congress 33.
Times Now C Voter projected BJP to get 57 seats and Congress 41. Today’s Chanakya gave BJP and overwhelming 90 seats against Congress’ 27.
Projecting a defeat of Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, exit polls have given DMK — Congress alliance a comfortable majority in the 234-member Assembly.
In Kerala, the CPI(M) — led Left Democratic Front (LDF) will wrest power from Congress — led United Democratic Front (UDF) maintaining the trend of change in every election.
The poll on India TV showed the LDF getting 74 to 82 against UDF’s 54 to 62. The BJP and ‘others’ are projected to get 4 seats each, a major gain for the saffron party.