NEW DELHI: An NDTV projection of exit polls says the Bharatiya Janata Party will retain its hold on the Gujarat state assembly as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) consolidates its hold on Delhi, heading for a sweep in the municipal elections, wresting the politically sensitive body from BJP.

The Congress has slender hopes for a win in Himachal Pradesh.

The counting of votes will take place on Dec 8. In a major upset, AAP is expected to win the Delhi civic body polls, BJP’s first defeat there after 15 years.

The electoral battle in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has turned more intense this time with the entry of AAP. According to the NDTV, BJP is predicted to win 132 seats in the 182-member Gujarat assembly. Debutant AAP is predicted to win only eight. In Himachal Pradesh, BJP would win the most seats.

Congress hangs on to hope in Himachal Pradesh

AAP is predicted to win 155 of the 250 wards in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, while the incumbent BJP is predicted to win 84. Barring one, all pollsters have given the BJP a slender edge in Himachal Pradesh, which has a tradition of voting out the incumbent.

Most exit polls, however, predicted that the maximum the BJP could get in the hill state is 40, just six seats more than the half-way mark of 34 in the 68-member house.

The India Today-Axis My India poll predicted that Congress could be ahead, winning 30-40 seats and BJP 24-34.

In Gujarat, pollsters predicted BJP could create history and was on its way to begin its seventh consecutive term in power. For Congress, the exit poll figures were massively disappointing as it could be staring at its worst-ever performance.

The big story of Gujarat, according to The Indian Express, was the entry of AAP, though it may not cross the 20 mark in the 182-member house.

According to The India Today-Axis My India, BJP will get 129-151 seats and Congress between 16 and 30. AAP, it said, will get 9 to 21 seats. The NewsX Jan Ki Baat survey said BJP will get 117-140 seats and Congress 34-51. It gave AAP 6-13 seats.

In Himachal Pradesh, The India Today-Axis My India gave BJP 24-34 seats and Congress 30-40. All other surveys gave the BJP an edge. While the Republic-P Marq survey said BJP will get 34-39 seats and Con­gress 28-33, the Times Now ETG survey gave the ruling party 38 seats and the Congress 28.

The NewsX survey said BJP will get 32-40 seats and Congress 27-34, the Zee News-BARC poll and the India TV survey gave BJP 35-40 seats. While the Zee News poll gave Congress 20-25 seats, the India TV predicted 26-31 seats for the party.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2022

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