Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: After the conclusion of final phase of polling in 41 Lok Sabha constituencies spread across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal, media houses will Monday evening telecast exit polls shedding some light on the voting pattern, important political personalities who made headlines and the issues which dominated the electoral exercise in the country.
The Election Commission had earlier banned the publication and dissemination of exit polls of any kind from April 7, the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, till today (May 12) when the last phase of the polling ends.
The Commission said the ban or "restriction" on exit polls will also be applicable for elections to Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh Assemblies which are being held along with Lok Sabha polls.
The exit polls had been banned from 7 am starting April 7, the day polling began, till 6.30 pm today when the polling in the ninth and last phase ends.
Using its powers under the Representation of the People Act, an EC notification said, "Conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicising by means of the print or electronic media or dissemination in any manner, whatsoever, the result of any exit poll....Shall be prohibited."
The Commission has also banned the publication of results of any opinion polls 48 hours before polling in respective areas.
The poll panel had proposed that there should be a prohibition on publication and broadcast of the results of opinion polls starting from the date of notification of elections till the completion of the last phase of polls to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies.
Besides prediction of which political party or formation is expected to win in this crucial polls, other interesting things to watch in these exit polls will be -:
AAP magic outside Delhi: How Arvind Kejriwal`s AAP’s has performed in the Lok Sabha polls outside Delhi, where it won 28 seats in the 2013 Assembly Elections here, well be a very interesting factor to watch.
Since Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Yogendra Yadav and other top party leaders have not contested Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, how AAP has performed in other parts of the country will determine much of its political future.
Mayawati`s Dalit & Muslim votes: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has recently ruled out giving any support to Narendra Modi even if his party comes to power, so it would be interesting to watch how BJP scuttles this challenge in UP which sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha. BJP has always maintained that if it wants Modi to be PM with ease, it needs to do exceptionally well in UP and win at least 40 of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats. Given the intact Dalit vote bank of BSP and Muslims` growing support to Mayawati, the Dalit leader can spoil the BJP`s party in these polls.
Return of Lalu Yadav in Bihar: After UP, Bihar is the second most crucial state in the formation of government at the Centre as it sends 40 MPs to Lok Sabha. For BJP this should have been a cake-walk since Nitish Kumar`s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse ever since his party broke up with BJP, but the return of Lalu Prasad Yadav and the RJD has muddied the picture. After coming out of jail, the RJD chief has got enormous support of locals and the party is said to be strong in the northern region, which holds the key to Lalu`s success as he is likely to consolidate the Yadav and Muslim votes in the state.
Who wins the Muslim votes: In view of Congress making desperate attempts to project this election as a battle between Secularism Vs Communalism, the Muslim voters have received enormous attention from every party this time.
In a state like Bihar, according to poll surveys, the Muslim voters are strongly backing the Congress-RJD alliance. In UP, Muslim votes appear to be split between SP, Congress and BSP. However, the SP faces growing Muslims discontent after the Muzaffarnagar riots. Mulayam Singh Yadav`s decision to contest from Azamgarh has further created sharp divisions in the Muslim community over which party to back. For the SP chief, the decision to contest in Azamgarh is an attempt to arrest the erosion of SP`s traditional Yadav-Muslim vote bank. And yet the Muslim voters could end up backing BSP. How the Muslim voters chose to exercise their right will be an important aspect of all the exit polls.
Modi magic in West Bengal and South: How BJP performs in Trinamool Congress ruled West Bengal and in the southern states will be the real test of the Modi wave. The state of West Bengal has seen a bitter war of words between Modi and Mamata, with the latter even ruling out any support to BJP if it emerges winner in the polls. While the TMC is expected to win big in these polls in West Bengal, the BJP is predicted to win 3-4 seats in the state.
Ever since losing Karnataka to Congress due to BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP has largely struggled to regain the last ground in south. In Karnataka, the Congress is expected to do better here with a 46 percent vote share, but will Modi stem the anti-BJP tide is yet to be seen? In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK is expected to get a majority of 32 vote share in the state, according to polls surveys, however, the BJP is also predicted to get 22 percent of the vote-share.
Watch exit polls on Zee Media after 6.30 pm today to gauge the political mood of the nation.