NEW DELHI: The BJP is set to retain power in Gujarat for the fifth consecutive term, according to early forecasts by the TOI Online-CVoter exit poll.
These predictions are based on polling till 2 pm in the second phase of the Gujarat assembly election.
The saffron party is likely to secure 108 seats in the 182-member state assembly, with the Congress and its allies finishing a distant second with 74 seats.
However, Congress is expected to improve its performance in terms of both vote share and seat share. The BJP, which won 115 seats in the 2012 assembly election, will come down to 108 seats, though still comfortably beating the majority figure of 94.
The saffron party’s loss is the Congress party’s gain, as it will add 13 more seats to its current tally of 61 seats in the House.
Concurrently, the BJP’s vote share will register a marginal loss, down to 47.4 per cent from the earlier 47.8 per cent. The Congress party’s vote share will go up from 38.8 per cent to 43.3 per cent.
According to the predictions, Congress will have a strong showing in all four regions of Gujarat, with the BJP consequently losing out. The saffron party seems to have lost its thunder in north and south Gujarat, where it is expected to lose 2 and 7 seats respectively.
Other parties are unlikely to win any seats in the closely-contested election.
The poll results will set the tone for the forthcoming assembly elections in 2018 and be used to measure Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and his chances of returning for a second term in 2019.
Voting for the second and final phase of the Gujarat assembly elections is underway in 93 seats in north and central Gujarat.
In phase one, votes were cast on Saturday for 89 seats and a voter turnout of 68 percent was recorded.
The election is being seen as a “prestige battle” for PM Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi.
Counting of votes will take place on December 18.
Source : timesofindia