Bloomberg | Andrew MacAskill & Bibhudatta Pradhan | Dec 4, 2013:: India’s main opposition party is set to take control of two states from the Congress party and keep control in two others, boosting its campaign to end the ruling party’s 10-year hold on power in national voting next year, exit polls showed.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which picked Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate in September, will win elections in states that account for almost a sixth of India’s population, including two currently held by the ruling Congress party, according to an exit poll conducted by C-Voter and broadcast on the Times Now television channel. Vote counting and official results will occur on Dec. 8.
The elections, held in recent weeks, are the final test for India’s two major national parties before elections that must be held by May 2014. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress party has seen corruption scandals, elevated consumer inflation and the weakest economic growth in a decade erode its popularity.
BJP victories in the four states may boost Indian stocks, according to Deven Choksey, managing director of Mumbai-based K.R. Choksey Shares & Securities Pvt. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which has climbed 6.6 percent this year, fell 0.7 percent in Mumbai today.
“These results are good news for the stock market,” Choksey said. “The turnout in Delhi means a big victory margin for the BJP. A victory in Delhi will be the trump card for the BJP in the 2014 national elections.”
In a setback for Congress, the exit poll shows the Hindu nationalist BJP gaining its highest seat tally since 1993 in New Delhi while falling short of a majority. The BJP will have 29 of the capital’s 70 seats, with the incumbent Congress taking 21. The Aam Aadmi Party, which campaigned against corruption while contesting its first election, is poised to win 16 seats to hold the balance of power, the poll showed.
The BJP will also wrest control of Rajasthan from Congress by winning 130 out of 200 seats, up from its current total of 78, according to the poll.
While Modi’s party will retain power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Congress is poised to gain seats from its current tallies, the poll showed. In Mizoram, a small state in India’s northeast ruled by Congress that also held elections, no exit polls were conducted.
No margin of error or details of the poll methodology were given.
All the state elections had record voter turnout, the Hindustan Times reported, without saying where it got the information.
Modi, chief minister of Gujarat state in western India, is projecting his record of governance and stronger-than-average economic growth in the state he has ruled since 2001 in an attempt to propel his party to national power. Congress has been deploying Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, the party’s president, both members of a political dynasty that has ruled the country for more than half of the 66 years since independence.
The price of onions, a key ingredient in Indian cooking, has climbed 278 percent in the last year. Higher food prices eat into consumers’ disposable incomes and disproportionately impact the poor who make up about two thirds of India’s population.
India’s final full session of parliament before the general election begins tomorrow. The government has listed 38 bills for passage including one that would give a third of the seats in parliament to women. Singh said yesterday the government is committed to passing legislation to create a new state in southern India. [Courtesy: Bloomberg].
BJP set to return in Rajasthan, to retain MP, Chhattishgarh; leads in Delhi, say exit polls
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi | Hindustan Times | New Delhi | December 04, 2013:: Barely five months before the Lok Sabha elections, exit polls on Wednesday predicted a sweep for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi assembly elections.
Crucially, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is projected make a strong debut in Delhi, where the Congress may lose power after 15 years.
The early indicators are sure to enthuse the BJP’s prime ministerial nominee and Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi.
He was the Hindu nationalist party’s star campaigner in all four states and did not refrain from attacking the top Congress leadership, which, on the other hand, chose to ignore his barbs.
The state elections have been billed as the semi-final before the final battle in the general elections due by April-May 2014. They have also been projected as a popularity test for Modi.
For the BJP, victory in these four states, which account for 72 of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats, would strengthen Modi’s bid to bring the saffron party back to power at the Centre after 10 years.
If the exit poll predictions come true, the BJP is headed for a hat-trick in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and will oust the Congress in Rajasthan.
Delhi is predicted to go to the BJP too, but the big splash will be the emergence of Kejriwal’s AAP, which according to five different exit polls is likely to get as many as 17 seats.
Read the full article in HT by clicking here.
To see the Exit polls click desired survey: C-fore | CNN IBN-The Week | C-voter | ABP News-Nielsen
Related reading: Indian voters polarized – Pole B. Bharat, BJP & Modi; Pole C. Corruption, Congress & Rahul:: Modi Times.
Courtesy: Bloomberg | Hindustan Times | BCCL | Modi Times.