Delhi: Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala appears to have voted for change, with West Bengal all set to maintain status quo, as per various exit polls conducted at the end of five-state elections on Monday evening.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared poised to win in Assam for the first time, ending 15 long years of Congress rule, in more bad news for the Congress, the grand old party was projected to lose Kerala.
According to exit polls, only West Bengal seemed to have bucked the trend.
Trinamool Congress led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is predicted to hold on to power by defeating the Left-Congress alliance convincingly for a second consecutive term, the polls showed.
On the other hand, verdict was split over Tamil Nadu, with advantage to the DMK. The DMK was also tipped to win in Puducherry.
Projections by various exit polls:
The BJP-led alliance could bag 79 to 93 seats in the 126-member Assam assembly, three exit polls said.
A fourth survey gave the BJP and its two allies - Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) - 57 seats, close to the critical half-way mark.
The India Today-Axis exit poll gave 79-93 seats to the BJP combine, 26-33 to the Congress and 6-10 to the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
ABP-Nielsen predicted 81 seats to the BJP coalition, 33 to the Congress and 10 to the AIUDF.
The NewsX Chanakya poll gave 90 seats to the BJP combine, 27 to the Congress and nine to the AIUDF. According to TimesNow C-Voter exit poll, the BJP and allies would get 57 seats, the Congress 41, AIUDF 18 and others 10.
According to ABP-Nielsen, the Trinamool would win 163 of the 294 Assembly seats. The CPI-M-led Left Front and the Congress combine would get 126 with a solitary seat going to the BJP. Others would get four seats.
But it warned that in 25 constituencies the margin of victory was set to be less than five percent, and the final outcome could drastically change depending on the results in these seats, as per IANS.
C-Voter also predicted 167 seats for the Trinamool, 75 for the Left, 45 for the Congress, four to the BJP and three to others.
NewsX-Today's Chanakya predicted a whopping 210 (plus or minus 14) seats for the Trinamool, 70 (plus or minus nine) for the Left-Congress and 14 rpt 14 (plus or minus five) seats for the BJP.
The exit polls were divided over Tamil Nadu.
Three surveys predicted a defeat for Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's AIADMK. But a fourth said she would retain power comfortably, winning 139 of the 234 seats.
The News Nation TV exit poll gave 95-99 seats to the AIADMK and 114-118 to the DMK-Congress alliance. The People Welfare Front (PWF), made up of six parties, could get 14 seats and the BJP four seats. Nine seats could go to others.
The Axis-My India exit poll predicted 124-140 seats to the DMK-Congress alliance, 89-110 to the AIADMK, 0-3 to the BJP and 4-8 to others.
NewsX-Today's Chanakya predicted that DMK-Congress alliance would get 140 (plus or minus 11) seats and AIADMK winning 90 (plus or minus) nine seats.
C-Voter, however, gave 139 seats to the AIADMK and 78 to the DMK coalition.
In Kerala, however, the Left could return to power.
The India Today-Axis exit poll gave 88 to 101 seats to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the 140-member house and 38-48 to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). The BJP could get zero to three seats while one to four seats may go to others.
The India TV C-Voter exit poll predicted 74-82 seats to the LDF, which is led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
The NewsX-Today's Chanakya poll predicted 75 (plus or minus nine) seats for LDF and 57 (plus or minus nine) seats for the UDF. The BJP, it said, could get 8 (plus or minus four seats).
Exit polls predicted a win for the DMK-Congress alliance in Puducherry too, ousting the ruling All India NR Congress.
Brushing aside the early exit polls predictions of a big win for BJP in Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi expressed confidence over his victory, saying people are aware of the work done by the Congress government in the state.
"I have a full trust and confidence in our own people of Assam. People of Assam have seen how much change we have brought in.Everyone has seen the performance of the government," Gogoi told ANI.
Meanwhile, TMC expressed happiness at being given a clear majority in the state Assembly elections by most of the exit polls.
"We will wait for May 19 and the actual results. The people of Bengal will bless Trinamool abundantly. Mamata Banerejee government's peace and communal harmony will win the hearts and minds of the people of Bengal," TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien said, as per PTI.
On the other hand, the Opposition combine of the Left Front and Congress is hopeful that the formation of an alliance government is only a matter of time.
CPI-M MP Ritabrata Banerjee and Congress leader Abdul Mannan said that whatever might be the exit poll prediction, the formation of the alliance government was "imminent."
Mannan claimed people had voted in favour of the alliance.
Counting of votes will take place on May 19.
(With Agency inputs)