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Exit polls bode ill for NDA

May 10, 2004 19:33 IST
Last Updated: May 11, 2004 01:56 IST

Exit polls at the end of the Lok Sabha elections on Monday gave varying projections for the 14th Lok Sabha with two TV channels giving a wafer-thin majority to the National Democratic Alliance and three others predicting a hung house with the ruling coalition falling 23-24 seats short of the magic figure of 272.

Aaj Tak forecast a hung Lok Sabha giving the NDA 248 seats in the 543-member House, a loss of 54 from 1999, Congress and Allies 189 and Others 105.

The Zee-Taleem exit survey also projected a hung House with NDA getting only 249 seats and Congress and Allies were pegged at 176 while Others are expected to get 117 seats.

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However, Star News-C voter exit poll gave the NDA 263 to 275 seats and the Sahara-DRS survey put the BJP-led combine between 263-278. Both showed the Congress-led combine improving its performance over the last time with the Star News poll projecting between 174 and 186 seats and the DRS poll giving it between 171 and 181 seats.

Early seat projections for other parties by Star News ranged between 86 and 98 while the Sahara-DRS poll gave it between 92 and 102 seats.

The NDTV-Indian Express exit poll predicted 230-250 seats for the NDA, showing the ruling coalition short of a simply majority by at least 22 seats.

The poll, carried out by A C Nielsen and based on a sample size of 122,172 voters spread over 213 constituencies, gave Congress and Allies 190-205 seats, Left parties 40-50 and 60-70 to Others.

Out of the 182 seats that went to polls in the final phase on Monday May 10, the exit poll gave BJP 60 seats, Congress 67 and Others 55.

Reflecting a major setback for NDA in Tamil Nadu, the poll gave eight seats to the BJP-led alliance and 31 to that led by the Congress.

Of the 18 Lok Sabha constituencies, which went to polls in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, it predicted six for BJP, two for Congress and ten for others, including Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

For the 10 seats in Haryana, the exit poll gave BJP two, a loss of eight seats, and Congress six and others two.

In Kerala, the survey predicted eight seats for the Congress-led United Democratic Front and the remaining 12 for the Left Democratic Front.

Projecting a saffron surge in Madhya Pradesh, the poll gave 15 seats to the BJP and two to the Congress of the 17 seats that went to the polls on May 10.

In Punjab (13 seats), the survey gave SAD-BJP nine seats, a gain of six, and Congress three and Others one.

In West Bengal, BJP-Trinamool Congress alliance was given nine seats, Congress four and the Left Front the remaining 29.

In Delhi, the poll said Congress is likely to wrest four seats from the BJP, which would manage to retain the remaining three.

Of the five seats in Uttaranchal, three would go the BJP and two to Congress while in Himachal Pradesh the two parties equally shared the four seats between themselves.

The Bharatiya Janata Party indicated that it was keeping its 'lines of communication open' with many parties, including those in the Congress-led alliance.

Party sources said except the Congress, Muslim League and the Left parties, the BJP is not averse to even former allies like Bahujan Samaj Party returning to the NDA fold.

He admitted that the NDA's strength is likely to be reduced in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana.

The party, however, hopes to increase its tally in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Assam and the Northeast.

The sources hinted that the BJP had an 'understanding' with some parties but declined to divulge names.


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