Uttar Pradesh exit poll results seesaw between BJP and grand alliance

Voters queue outside a polling station in Jayapur village, during the last phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Varanasi Photo: PTI
The exit polls have forecast contrasting results for Uttar Pradesh, a key state with maximum number of Lok Sabha seats at 80. While some have placed the mahagathbandhan or the grand alliance on top, many others have named the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the decisive winner in the state.

In 2014, the BJP and its ally Apna Dal (S) had won 73 of the 80 seats in UP, helping the party form government at the Centre with a comfortable majority.

Nielsen/ABP News poll has predicted the alliance of Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal will win 56 seats against 22 by the BJP. C-Voter/Republic poll sees a neck-and-neck contest with ‘mahagathbandhan’ cornering 40 seats against the BJP’s 38.

Giving a diametrically opposite verdict is Jan Ki Baat, which has given 53 to the BJP and 24 to the alliance, while putting the Congress tally at three. Two others, Chanakya and News18 IPSOS have shared similar results in UP. Chanakya has given 65 seats to the BJP against the grand alliance tally of just 13. News18 IPSOS has put the BJP on top with 60 to 62 seats, while  leaving the BSP-SP grand alliance with only 17 to 19 seats.

The BSP and the SP had contested 38 and 37 seats, respectively, while their partner RLD had fought three seats in Western UP.

While the BJP and the SP-BSP alliance have witnessed a see-saw battle in the exit polls, every survey is unanimous on Congress getting negligible seats. Congress, which was hoping for a revival of sorts in UP, especially after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry as the party general secretary in charge of Eastern UP, is heading for another rout, going by the exit polls. The party has been projected to win one to three seats by the pollsters. It fought 70 of the total 80 seats in UP.

At this point, the jury is out on whether or not the SP and the BSP would get a new lease of life in UP. If they do, it will enable them to get a bargaining power in the state and national politics ahead of the crucial 2022 UP Assembly elections.

However, political analysts are not ruling out future squabbles between the two rival-turned-allies if there’s a significant difference in the number of seats won by them individually.