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Why BJP is going gaga over heavy polling

April 11, 2014 10:49 IST

Why BJP is going gaga over heavy polling

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The Bharatiya Janata Party is banking on high turnout in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi

As the voter turnout in almost all the 91 constituencies that went to the polls on Thursday surpassed previous levels, it was the Bharatiya Janata Party that appeared the most jubilant.

The party sees particularly good prospects for itself in Uttar Pradesh.

Maharashtra was a disappointment, though, as it saw a lower than expected turnout.

The Election Commission’s satisfaction over the turnout levels was marred by bomb blasts in two constituencies, Munger and Jamui in Bihar, in which two soldiers lost their lives.

Also, unexploded bombs were discovered in Aurangabad. There was exchange of fire in Gadchiroli, an area inhabited by Maoists in Maharashtra.

Ten seats in western UP went to the polls and voter turnout in the region was 65 per cent, 14 per cent more than in 2009.

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A senior BJP leader involved with the election strategy in UP claimed the party would win a major chunk of the seats.

Claiming that there was a “festive atmosphere” among voters and many wore new clothes, he said that was a clear indication that the people voted for change and to avenge misgovernance.

Locals said a large number of emigrants had returned home to vote.

BJP sources are confident that the Muslim vote has been split between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in western UP. They say the SP has seen a late surge in support among Muslims.

They also claim that some of the BSP’s Jatav vote is gravitating towards the BJP.

“The Muslim-plus-Jatav combination is electorally a winning one in that region and we believe we have broken that,” said a BJP leader.

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Why BJP is going gaga over heavy polling

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In Delhi, a dipstick survey of polling booths suggested that barring New Delhi where there was a sizeable presence of Aam Aadmi Party flags and activists, all the other six constituencies saw the Congress and the BJP mark matching presence -- with a slight edge for the BJP.

It was in the Dalit and Jat-dominated northwest Delhi that the Congress seemed most precariously placed, with voters saying party candidate Krishna Teerath had hardly been seen during the campaign.

BJP sources said of all seven seats, it was shakiest in New Delhi where Meenakshi Lekhi was pitted against the Congress’s Ajay Maken.

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Image: Left: Congress candidate Ajay Maken; Right: The BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi


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In Kerala, where all 20 Lok Sabha seats are going to the polls, a turnout upwards of 70 per cent is normal.

The Vatkara constituency had the highest turnout in the state.

Both fronts, the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the CPM-controlled Left Democratic Front, claimed that a high polling percentage would help them. Muslim-dominated areas in Malabar (north Kerala) witnessed an unprecedented turnout.

In 2009, the UDF had won 16 seats and the LDF four. The overall vote share of the BJP is likely to rise significantly in the state but the party may not win a seat.

Meanwhile, Haryana saw complaints of rigging registered by the AAP within an hour of voting. In Gurgaon, supporters of Yogendra Yadav complained of ‘massive rigging’ at 10 am when barely 15 per cent of the electorate had voted.

Maharashtra’s 10 seats saw a lower turnout than expected. Officials said it was because of the searing heat. In Jammu & Kashmir, the Jammu constituency saw long queues of people waiting to vote.



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