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Exit poll 2023: Here's how politicians reacted to poll predictions

The exit poll results for all five states - Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram -were declared by media outlets on Thursday

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Photo: Bloomberg

BS Web Team New Delhi
Several exit polls on Thursday showed the Congress leading in the Chhattisgarh and Telangana Assembly elections and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Rajasthan elections. Some surveys have predicted that the BJP will win in Madhya Pradesh as well.

The predictions were made as the voting for the Assembly election in Telangana concluded on Thursday. A provisional voter turnout of 63.9 per cent was recorded in the state.

The Assembly polls in Mizoram took place on November 7, in Madhya Pradesh on November 17 and in Rajasthan on November 25. The elections in Chhattisgarh were held in two phases on November 7 and 17.

The votes in all five states will be counted on Sunday, December 3.
What did politicians say about the Madhya Pradesh exit poll results?
In Madhya Pradesh, the largest state to go to the polls, a majority of exit polls predicted a fierce contest between the ruling BJP and the Congress — two gave the edge to the Congress, one to the BJP, and two forecast a dead heat. But two other prominent surveys — IndiaToday-AxisMyIndia and Today’s Chanakya-News 24 predicted a sweep for the BJP and a decimation for the Congress.

The BJP has ruled the state for 18 of the last 20 years, and the party fielded a bevy of senior ministers and parliamentarians in addition to touting its welfare efforts and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s image. The Congress had focused on anti-incumbency and corruption allegations against Chouhan.

Congress       Others
India Today-Axis My India 140-162 68-90 0-3
News24-Today's Chanakya 151 74 5
Republic-Matrize 118-130 97-107 0-2
TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polistrat 106-116 111-121 0-6
Dainik Bhaskar 95-115 105-120 0-15

Soon after the exit polls, Chouhan said the results of the elections will be “unexpected and unprecedented. I said this at a lot of places that the kind of support we are getting from women of our state, the results will be unexpected and unprecedented. I had said that the way we were getting love from sisters and daughters, the result would be unprecedented. We will win handsomely,” he said.

On the other hand, MP Congress Committee president Kamal Nath, said that his party will form its government in the state “with an overwhelming majority”. 

“When the counting of votes starts on December 3, the public mandate will be clear,” the Congress leader said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, "Exit poll results are very diverse. We cannot say anything about it. I can assure you that the Congress will get more than 130 seats in Madhya Pradesh. People want transformation. People are fed up with CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan."

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Rajasthan exit poll results: What did leaders say?
In neighbouring Rajasthan, where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is attempting to buck the state’s political tradition, a majority of exit polls predicted that the BJP will come back to power. However, IndiaToday-AxisMyIndia and Today’s Chanakya-News 24 both projected a squeaker with the Congress marginally ahead.

Congress BJP Others
India Today-Axis My India 86-106 80-100 9-18
News24-Today's Chanakya 89-113 77-101 2-16
Jan Ki Baat 62-85 100-122 14-15
Dainik Bhaskar 98-105 85-95 10-15
TV9 Bharatvarsh-Polistrat 90-100 100-110 5-15

On the state exit polls, Rajasthan CM Gehlot said, “The BJP is not going to form the government in any of the five States. Exit polls may say something and surveys might suggest something, but based on the people’s feedback in the cities and villages, our government is set to come back in Rajasthan."

The BJP, however, appeared confident of wresting power from the Congress. Party MLA Vasudev Devnani said, “The exit polls made it clear that the BJP is going to form a government with full majority. The result of five out of seven exit polls came in our favour. This is the victory of Rajasthan and its public. Congress might keep their hope alive over the result of the one exit poll. But I can assure that the BJP will achieve an even better result on the final counting day on December 3.”
Politicians on Chhattisgarh exit polls
In Chhattisgarh, where the Congress defeated the BJP in 2018, the contest was seen as more evenly poised. Five exit polls predicted a furious battle between the two national parties, with the Congress edging ahead. Three others predicted that Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel would easily win a second consecutive term. 

Source Congress BJP Others
India Today-Axis My India 40-50 36-46 1-5
News24-Today's Chanakya 57 33 0
Republic-Matrize 44-52 34-42 0-2
ABP News-C Voter 41-53 36-48 0-4
Jan Ki Baat 42-53 34-45 3

Reacting to Thursday’s exit polls, Congress leader and Chhattisgarh deputy CM TS Singhdeo said, “Exit polls are the guesswork by television channels. I always take them with a pinch of salt. I am confident of an overwhelming Congress win. Let’s wait for the results on December 3.”

BJP leader and former CM Raman Singh predicted an even lower seat share for the Congress. “The BJP will win 52-55 seats. The Congress said it would be cross 75. Some exit surveys showed that they would be reduced to 40. Some polls said 42. I believe their number would be below 35 when the results are declared on December 3,” he said.
Telangana leaders on poll prediction
In Telangana, the only southern state to go to the polls in this round, every exit poll predicted that the Congress would dethrone the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), which has ruled the state since its formation. Three exit polls even said that the Congress would gain a simple majority of its own, while others predicted that it would likely emerge as the single-largest party.

Source BRS Congress BJP Others
Jan Ki Baat 40-55 48-64 7-13 4-7
Republic-Matrize 46-56 58-68 4-9 0
India TV-CNX 31-47 63-79 7-13 4-7
News24-Today's Chanakya 33 71 7 8

Dismissing the exit polls, BRS working president and state information and technology minister KT Rama Rao said, “Even during the 2018 Assembly election, the exit polls conducted by several agencies went against the BRS. Only one national news agency predicted that the BRS will come to power.”

The Congress, on the other hand, said that the exit polls reflected the mood of the people of Telangana. “It is a sheer coincidence that the election results are being declared on December 3, when Telangana witnessed the martyrdom of Srikantha Chary, who was the first person to die for the separate state,” Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A Revanth Reddy said.
Mizoram exit poll results
In Mizoram, where the Mizo National Front (MNF) was looking for a second consecutive term, all exit polls predicted a hung assembly, with the battle confined mainly between the ruling party and the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), with some even projecting a big victory for the six-party regional alliance.

Source MNF Congress ZPM Others
Jan Ki Baat 10-14 5-9 15-25 0-2
India TV-CNX 14-18 8-10 12-16 0-2
Republic-Matrize 17-22 7-10 7-12 1-2
ABP News-C Voter 15-21 2-8 12-18 0-5

MNF Vice-President Vanlalzawma said, “The exit polls may say anything. But I am confident that MNF will get a majority on its own and return to power.”

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First Published: Dec 01 2023 | 2:22 PM IST

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