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UPA marginally ahead of NDA in exit polls

Various exit polls indicate Congress-led UPA having an edge in a fractured verdict.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi, May 13: With curtains coming down on the LS polls on Wednesday with millions voting in the fifth phase covering 86 constituencies, various surveys and exit polls indicate Congress-led UPA having an edge in a fractured verdict.
Three projections put the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) slightly ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), with the Congress tipped to finish as the single largest party in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

Even as both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed they would finish as the number one, an India TV exit poll telecast after balloting ended said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) could end up with 195-201 seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha.

This tally could go up to 227-237 if the seats bagged by estranged allies such as Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party were to be included. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was tipped to bag 189-195 seats and the Third Front 113-121 seats, it said.

`Headlines Today` channel gave Congress and its allies 191 seats against 180 to BJP and its allies. The Left parties, which played a crucial role in the outgoing Lok Sabha with 60 seats, has been projected to get 38 while `Others` including the BSP are set to get 134 in a House of 543.

In the predictions by `NewsX` channel, the UPA has been projected to get 199 seats against 191 of NDA while the `Third Front` gets 104 and `Others` 48. Congress alone is expected to get 155 and BJP two less.

`UTVi` channel gives UPA 195 and along with SP, LJP and RJD, it gets 227. The NDA has been given 189 seats and `Others` 14.

Yet another channel `News 24` gave projections made by the political parties. In the Congress projections, gets 218 as against 194 of NDA, 101 for `Third Front` and 30 for the `Fourth Front`.

In its projections, `Times Now` gave UPA 198 including
154 for Congress, and NDA getting 183 with 142 for BJP. The
`Third Front` is likely to get 112 including 38 for the left
parties. `Others` are to get 50 seats.

`Star News` channel put the tally for UPA at 199 with
Congress alone expected to get 155. The NDA is tipped to get
196 including 153 for BJP and the `Third Front` 100. `Others
are expected to get 48 seats.

But political leaders and analysts kept their fingers tightly crossed, with the expected cliffhanger verdict forcing both the Congress and BJP -- the two main contenders for power -- desperately scouting for new allies. As the voting progressed, some parties switched loyalties, making it one of the most difficult electoral battles to predict.

Times Now predicted a close fight with some states being major shocks for both UPA and NDA. While in Andhra Pradesh the Congress is set to take a cut in its 29 seats of 2004 coming down to 15, in Rajasthan will probably go up to 13 from the current 4.

State wise break-up

An expected shift may occur in Bihar, though. Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) led NDA, as per the channel’s survey, will romp home with 29 seats (JDU: 19, BJP-10) while the RJD-LJP combine will have to make do with a mere 6 from 2004’s 26. Congress’ fortune may be static with it not losing its three seats.

Uttar Pradesh- with 80 seats and the key to Centre- will see a revival in Congress booty. The party could win upto 14 seats, closely led by BJP’s 14. BSP, as against high expectations, will win 28 seats while SP may win 23.

In Karnataka, the BJP wave continues with the party projected to win 16 seats and Congress 9. JDS is set to win 2 seats.

Gujarat seems to be going Modi way again with the BJP increasing its tally to 19 and Congress falling to approximately 7.

Andhra Pradesh, with its 42 seats and a new alliance, will be a crucial piece in the puzzle. As per Times Now, TDP and TRS are set to win 40 seats, with 20 each. Congress’ may win 15 seats and, surprisingly, Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam is set to claim 5 seats.

In Madhya Pradesh, though BJP has lost two seats, it may still merege as the biggest party with 23 seats and Congress bettering its 2004’s four seats with 6.

In Tamil Nadu, Amma will return to the political centre with 24 seats while DMK seems almost wiped out with only 4 seats. Congress and DMK may end up scoring four each.

CNN-IBN-Dainik Jagran survey also shoes Chiru securing 14% votes and hence becoming a vital factor in Andhra Pradesh. The channel also foresees BJP taking a lead in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

In Kerala, UDF is set to defeat the Left led LDF, hence bringing a major change in the state’s political scenario. Times Now predicts the Congress led UDF to get 15 seats.

Exit polls had been way off the mark in 2004 Lok Sabha polls, with most of them projecting BJP-led NDA as the winner which did not turn out to be correct.

Ultimately, in 2004 elections the Congress and its pre-poll allies got 216 seats against a projection ranging from 170 to 205 seats. The BJP-led NDA had secured 187 seats against the projections of over 240 to 250 seats.

With neither the UPA nor NDA expected to cross the magic figure of 272 in the Lok Sabha, the Congress and BJP tried to outsmart one another in order to woo leaders of smaller and regional parties.

Elections to the 15th Lok Sabha got off to a violent start April 16 leaving 19 people dead in coordinated attacks by Maoist guerrillas during the first round of balloting. The rest of the polling days were, however, largely peaceful.


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