Exit polls by various channels predicted a hung house in Meghalaya, a win for the NDPP backed by the BJP in Nagaland, the two states that went to polls on Monday, and seemed to oscillate between predicting a clean sweep for the BJP to a hung house in the state of Tripura, where a new party the Tipra Motha may emerge as a potential king-maker in the polls, held a week back.
The crucial but tiny state of Tripura, which the BJP had grabbed from the CPI(M) in a surprise win in 2018, had exit results from three pollsters which varied substantially.
IndiaToday-MyAxis indicated that the BJP would get between 36 and 45 seats in the 60-member assembly by garnering 45 per cent of the popular vote, most of it in the plains where Bengalis live, giving it a spectacular win.
It also predicted the Left-Congress combine would get a paltry 6-11 seats with just 32 per cent of the popular vote, a huge slide from its 43 per cent voteshare in 2018.
The newbie party Tipra Motha, founded by former royal Pradyot Kishore Mankiya Debbarma, is shown as gathering 9-16 seats from the tribal areas with a concentrated 20 per cent of the vote share.
The Left-Congress combine, however, doubted the exit polls and Congress leader Sudip Roy Burman said, ”The BJP will end up in single digits -- people have voted against the lawlessness prevailing in the state. It was a revenge vote against the party in power.”
|Tripura (60 seats)|
|India Today-My Axis||36-45||6-11||9-16|
However, the ETG-Times Now poll indicated that BJP would remain the largest party but with a substantial drawdown from its earlier tally of 36 to just 24 seats, while Left-Congress would get 21 seats with the Tipra Motha snatching 14 seats in the tribal areas.
The ZeeNews-Matrize exit poll, on similar lines, predicted the BJP and its ally would win 29-36 seats in Tripura, while the Left-Congress would get between 13 and 21 seats, and the Tipra Motha would get between 11 and 16.
Subrata Chakraborty, chief spokesperson of the BJP in Tripura, claimed, "We will come back with a thumping two-thirds majority, given all the hard work that we have done in the last five years."
Former militant-turned-Tipra Motha president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhwal had earlier told PTI before the elections that in case of a hung house his party would consider supporting any party which conceded or furthered its demand for a separate Tipraland state.
"In a post-poll scenario, we are willing to support from outside (in case of a hung house), but you have to agree on paper and on the floor of the House that a new state will be created,” he had said.
Both the Times Now ETG Exit and India Today-My Axis polls predicted a hung house in the state described as 'Scotland of the east', even though Meghalaya's Chief Minister Conrad Sangma remained confident of victory.
"We are happy that exit poll predictions are in line with our belief that we will get more seats than what we did last time ... we are keeping all our options and will do what is in the best interest of the state," Sangma said, in an indication that post-poll alliances were being thought of.
|Meghalaya (60 seats)|
|Times Now ETG||18-26||8-14||8-14||3-6||2-5|
|India Today-My Axis||18-24||5-9||8-12||4-8||6-12|
The Times Now ETG Exit poll predicted Sangma's NPP would get 18-26 seats, Trinamool Congress led by former chief minister Mukul Sangma would take 8-14 seats, UDP another 8-14 seats while the BJP would improve its tally from two to anything between 3 and 6 seats.
India Today-My Axis predicted that the NPP would bag 18-24 seats, short of majority, forcing it to look towards other parties to shore up figures. It also gave UDP 8-12 seats, Congress 6-12 seats, TMC 5-9 seats and the BJP 4-8 seats.
The Zee News-Matrize exit poll predicted that the National People's Party will retain Meghalaya with 21 to 26 seats. It also predicted 8-13 seats for the Trinamool and 6-11 for BJP.
In formerly insurgency-hit Nagaland, the NDPP is slated to get 28-34 seats with a vote share of 33 per cent, according to India Today-My Axis.
The poll also gives the BJP a surprising 16 per cent vote share and 10-14 seats, possibly coming from eastern Nagaland where it focused its campaigning.
|Nagaland (60 seats)|
|India Today-My Axis||28-34||10-14||3-8||1-2|
|Zee News-Matrize||NDPP + BJP - 35-43||-||2-5||1-3|
The Congress is predicted to get 10 per cent votes and between 1and 2 seats, and the rump of the Naga People's Front which remained after some 21 MLAs joined the NDPP is forecast to get 13 per cent vote share and between 3 and 8 seats.
Times Now similarly predicts 27-33 seats for the NDPP, 12-16 seats for the BJP, and 4-8 seats for the NPF.
While Zee News-Matrize gives 35-43 to NDPP-BJP, it has also predicted 2-5 seats for the NPF and 1-3 seats for the Congress.