The battle for Punjab this year has been a hotly-contested one. While the BJP and its old ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have fought tooth and nail, the Congress has tried to make its presence felt. However, neither of them may end up forming government, what with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also in the fray?
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The election for the Punjab Assembly took phase in a single phase and on a single date: February 4. The election in Goa also happaned on the saame date. Punjab has 117 Assembly constituencies, and a political party or an alliance will need to get to the halfway mark of 59 in order to be able to form government without any hitch.
The real winner will only be announced after counting on Saturday, March 11, but various agencies have already come out with their own exit polls, conducted as and when elections were conducted in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Goa. Here is what they expect the results to be in Punjab:
|Political party -->||SAD+BJP||Congress||AAP+||Others|
|India News - MRC||7||55||55||0|
|India Today - AXIS||4-7||62-71||42-51||0-2|
|India TV - CVoter||5-13||41-49||59-67||0-3|
|News 24 - Today's Chanakya ||9||54||54||0|
|ABP News - Lokniti ||19-27||46-56||36-46||0-4|
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Given the current trends, Punjab seems to be the only state where the BJP is losing out on. However, there is little scope for the Opposition to blame the saffron party for it and say that this was a failure for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After all, the BJP is the smaller of the two allies that has ruled the state, and a failure of that government to return to power is reflective more of the sentiments the people of Punjab harbour for the SAD.
The big question now is: Who will form government? While the honours are divided between the AAP and the Congress in two polls, a third poll gives the Congress the majority, while it goes to the AAP in a fourth. In either case of the last two cases, though, the winning party almost reaches the magic number of 59, or the halfway mark. In case it falls just short, we can hope to see hectic political parlays and people switching sides very quickly.