Exit Polls: BJP, Congress in a tight race

Congress is likely to win Chhattisgarh and Telangana state assembly elections while it is in close contest with the BJP in MP and Rajasthan, exit polls showed on Thursday.

Votes in all five states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram – will be counted on Dec. 3 and the results are expected that same day.

Three of the five states in contention have witnessed a tough battle between Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress party. BJP has been in power in one of the states, Congress in two, and regional parties in the remaining two.

At least nine exit polls predicted Congress party’s victory in mineral-rich Chattisgarh and Telangana state. Some of them said BJP was set to defeat Congress in Rajasthan.

Poll predictions from Madhya Pradesh state showed mixed results. A regional party was set to win again in the northeastern state of Mizoram, according to two exit polls.

Exit polls are conducted by various private organisations to predict election outcomes but critics say they tend to be inaccurate in India, partly because of the size and complexity of the electorate in the world’s most populous nation.

Politicians and analysts also note that state elections do not always influence the outcome of the general elections or indicate national voter mood.

A survey conducted in August by the India Today media group said Modi’s popularity remains intact after a decade in power, with 52% of respondents saying he is best suited to keep the top post for a third time. – Agencies

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