Exit polls: Only Mamata to stay in power; oust ruling fronts in Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala

NEW DELHI:If exit polls are to be believed, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to make history in Assam by forming a government for the first time, while Mamata Banerjee will stage a comeback in West Bengal despite a spirited fight by the Left -Congress combine.

The Congress is also set to lose power in Kerala to the CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), while the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is all set to regain power, beating incumbent Jayalalithaa’s All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), with a rather thin margin, according to most exit polls by TV channels.

The Congress could take solace only from its projected victory in the tiny Union territory of Puducherry. where it is likely to gain power in alliance with the DMK. But all this comes with a big if, as exit polls have gone wrong on several occasions in the past.
The poll by Axis My India cites several reasons for the expected defeat of the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in Assam that has been ruling the state for the past 15 years.
Besides the high anti-incumbency of 70% against the Congress, it also gives a popularity factor of 46% to BJP candidate Sarbanand Sonowal versus 31% for an ageing Gogoi. Sentiments against Bangladeshi infiltration will also play a major part, according to the survey.
In the outgoing Assembly in Assam, the Congress had 78seats and the BJP 5. All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had 18 seats while current BJP allies Bodo People’s Front (BPF) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) had 12 and 10, respectively.
Keeping a defiant stance, Gogoi brushed off exit poll results. “Exit polls are wrong. We will form our government on our own strength,” he said. A circumspect Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar, however, said: “If the numbers are correct, it is a huge disappointment and we should introspect.”
Against popular perception, all exit polls, without exception, show Mamata’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) returning to power in West Bengal. The polls don’t give BJP any reason to rejoice in West Bengal, keeping it a very minor player with 2-4 seats.
The exit poll cite high pro- incumbency of 65% in favour of TMC. “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.
The Left Front-Congress combine, however, is not ready to give up hope and claim that formation of an alliance government is only a matter of time.
CPM leader 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.
Projecting a defeat of the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, exit polls give the DMK-Congress alliance a comfortable majority in the 234 member Assembly. The BJP, as expected, remains on the fringe, and, in the best case scenario, may get two seats.
Exit poll by C-Voter is the only exception that predicts an AIADMK victory by giving it 139 seats, 78 to the DMK alliance, zero to BJP and 17 to others.
In Kerala, the CPM-led LDF is expected to wrest power from the Congress-led UDF, maintaining the trend of change in every election.The BJP is expected to open its account in Kerala and may get up to four seats.