Exit polls predict West Bengal may be too close to call; suggest a sweep for the DMK in Tamil Nadu; LDF’s return to power in Kerala; win for the National Democratic Alliance in Puducherry; and say the party is likely to return to power in Assam
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has rejected the exit polls that predict West Bengal may be too close to call while accepting the prediction that the party was likely to return to power in Assam. The exit polls for the latest round of assembly elections also suggest a sweep for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu, Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s return to power in Kerala, and win for the National Democratic Alliance in Puducherry.
BJP general secretary and West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvarghia insisted the party will form the government in West Bengal with a comfortable majority. “These companies that carry out exit polls based on interaction with people on the ground are not completely familiar with the dynamics of the state. There is a history of violence in Bengal. A lot of people are afraid of voicing their opinion freely. One must also remember that West Bengal has the highest percentage of silent voters. It is anywhere between 18 to 20%.”
Vijayvarghia added there was a perception in 2011 that the Left Front would return to power, but the Trinamool Congress (TMC) emerged as the winner. “Those who vote for the party in power are vocal about it but those who vote for the opposition tend to remain silent out of fear,” he said.
BJP spokesperson KK Sharma said the work done by the state government in the last five years and the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre has helped the BJP establish itself as a party that has delivered in Assam. “The state leadership of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been able to address concerns and solve problems that had been lingering on for decades of the Congress rule.”
In Assam, the exit polls have predicted 60 to 85 seats for the BJP in the 126-member assembly. The Congress is expected to get 40 to 50 seats.
The BJP contested elections in Tamil Nadu in alliance with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. In Kerala, where the BJP has a lone legislator, the exit polls do not predict any major improvement in its tally.