New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress registered a decisive victory in West Bengal on Sunday, contrary to results of most exit polls which predicted a tight race between the BJP and the TMC with an edge to the Mamata Banerjee-led party.
The exit polls failed to gauge the extent of TMC's victory margin. However, most were correct in projecting a win for the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu, the BJP combine in Assam, the LDF in Kerala and the NDA in Puducherry.
According to the Election Commission website, at 6.30 pm, the TMC had won five seats and was ahead in 208 seats. The BJP was leading in 75 seats and was declared a winner in one seat.
The Left-Congress combine was nowhere in the race, though the Left ruled the state for more than three decades.
Of all the exit polls on West Bengal, Today's Chanakya was the closest for the TMC. It had projected 180 with an error margin of plus and minus 11 seats. It had given 108 seats to the BJP, with an error margin of plus or minus 11 seats.
The India Today-Axis My India exit poll had predicted a neck-and-neck contest in West Bengal, giving the BJP 134-160 and the TMC 130-156 seats. Republic-CNX polls gave the BJP a slight edge by protecting 138-148 seats for the party in the 294-seat assembly and 128-138 to the TMC.
However, Times Now-C Voter predicted a clear majority for the TMC by projecting 158 seats for the party and 115 for the BJP. The Jan Ki Baat exit poll predicted a strong majority for the BJP in West Bengal, giving it 162-185 seats, against 104-121 to the ruling TMC.
The TMC had won 211 seats in 2016 and the BJP only three in the 294-member West Bengal assembly.
The exit polls were mostly correct in their projections for Assam where the BJP-led alliance comfortably retained power. According to the Election Commission website, the BJP and its allies were either leading or had won 74 seats. The Congress and its alliance was either leading or won in 47 seats. In Assam, India Today-Axis My India predicted 75-85 seats for the BJP-led combine in the 126-member assembly and 40-50 to the Congress-led opposition.
Today's Chanakya predicted 61-79 seats for the saffron alliance and 47-65 for the Congress-led opposition in Assam. Republic-CNX gave the ruling saffron alliance 74-84 and the opposition 40-50, while Times Now-C Voter gave them 65 and 59 seats respectively.
In Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan defied the norm of the two main alliances alternating in power by leading the CPI(M)-led combine to another spell in power as predicted by the exit polls.
Though the official announcement is yet to be made, the Vijayan-led LDF is leading in 99 seats Axis My India had predicted a big win for the LDF by projecting 104 seats for it in the 140-member assembly and predicting only 20-36 seats to the Congress-led UDF.
Today's Chanakya forecast for Kerala was 93-111 seats for the LDF and 26-44 for the UDF in the 140-member strong Kerala assembly. CNX predicted a closer fight but still projected a majority of 72-80 seats for the ruling alliance against 54-64 for the opposition.
In another key southern state, Tamil Nadu, the DMK-led alliance registered a victory after being in the opposition for 10 years.
Axis My India and CNX had forecast a big win for the DMK-led alliance that also includes the Congress. They gave 175-195 and 160-170 respectively for the DMK-Congress-led alliance in the 234-member assembly. The AIADMK-led alliance, which includes the BJP, was projected to get 38-54 and 58-68 respectively.
Today's Chanakya predicted 164-186 seats for the DMK combine and 46-68 for the incumbent AIADMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.
In Puducherry, as predicted by most of the exit polls, the NDA is set to form the government in the union territory. PTI PR AAR AAR