Exit polls give clear majority to BJP as polling ends in Gujarat

NEW DELHI
14 Dec 2017

Exit polls today predicted a victory for the ruling BJP in Gujarat, giving it a clear majority in the keenly-contested Assembly polls in the state.

Soon after voting ended in the second and final phase of the election, an exit poll gave the BJP 115 of the total 182 seats and the Congress 65. Another exit poll gave the ruling dispensation 108 seats and 74 to the Opposition Congress. The Times Now-VMR Exit poll predicted 115 seats for the BJP, 64 for the Congress, and the remaining for other parties. The Republic-C Voter Exit Poll gave the BJP 108 seats and the Congress, 74.
A poll on NDTV said the BJP would get 112 seats and the Congress 70. A party has to win 92 seats or more to form a government in the state. In the 2012 Assembly polls in Gujarat, the BJP had won 115 seats, the Congress 61 and others, six.
Gujarat recorded an estimated 68.70 per cent voter turnout in the second and final phase of polling for 93 Assembly seats today, the Election Commission said.

The figure is likely to go up as details are still being worked out, senior deputy election commissioner Umesh Sinha told newspersons here. The 93 seats are spread across north and central Gujarat. Around 2.22 crore people were eligible to exercise their franchise to choose their representatives from among 851 candidates in the fray. The Prime Minister cast his ballot after waiting in a queue at a polling booth in a school in Sabarmati constituency of Ahmedabad district. After casting the vote at Nishan High School, he showed his inked finger to thousands of supporters who had gathered outside the school in Ranip locality of Sabaramati constituency, amid chants of "Modi, Modi". He walked a certain distance to greet the people standing on both sides of the road outside the polling booth.
"Today is phase 2 of the Gujarat elections. I request all those voting today to vote in record numbers and enrich this festival of democracy," the Prime Minister tweeted. Later, the Prime Minister stood on the foot-board of his car and waved to the crowd. Prime Minister’s mother Hiraba today cast her vote at a poll booth located at Aryabhatt High School in Gandhinagar. She was accompanied by her younger son Pankaj Modi and other family members.

The Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi today hit out at the BJP, saying the saffron party's "complete bankruptcy" was exposed during campaigning for the Gujarat Assembly polls.
"As the campaign progressed, we saw complete bankruptcy in BJP. They diverted from one issue to another," Rahul said at a function here in connection with the centenary celebrations of late RSP leader Baby John. Taking potshots, he said "first they (BJP) talked about Narmada, followed by OBCs and then they moved to 'vikas' and eventually we saw a spectacle." Targeting Narendra Modi, Gandhi said "In the last three-four days of the campaign, all that was left for the prime minister was to talk about himself and insult the previous Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) of this country. That is all they have," he said. Expressing confidence about his party's good performance in Gujarat's two-phased polls that ended today, Gandhi said "we are going to defeat these forces." "These forces are not going to stand in front of us. The foundation of these forces is actually extremely weak. They have inherited marketing muscle and money. So they have very loud voice. But the voice is hollow," he said.