Lok Sabha Exit Poll 2019: Karnataka only bright spot for BJP in South India

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Lok Sabha election 2019 exit polls have suggested that the Bharatiya Jaanata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) might lose heavily south of the Vindhyas. The India Today-Axis exit poll has predicted that the BJP and its allies could lose heavily in all southern states except Karnataka.

In Karnataka the BJP could get 21 to 25 of the 28 seats, with the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine, could end up getting only 3 to 6 seats. This is a big markup for the BJP in the state when compared with 2014. In the previous general elections, the BJP had managed to win 17 seats in Karnataka, while the Congress and JD(S) had bagged 9 and 2 seats, respectively. But the good news for the BJP in South India ends there, as its allies are expected to lose heavily in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

The India Today-Axis exit poll predicts the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led alliance in the state to get between 34 and 38 of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu. The Congress is part of this alliance. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which is in alliance with the BJP, is being predicted to be wiped out from the state. At best, the exit poll predicts the AIADMK-led alliance bagging four seats in a best-case scenario. In 2014, the AIADMK, under Jayalaithaa’s leadership, had swept the state, bagging 37 of the 39 seats. The AIADMK hadn’t joined the NDA in 2014, but this time both parties are fighting the polls together.

In Kerala, where the BJP has never won a single Parliamentary seat ever, the party is expected to open its account. But it is the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) which could win 15-16 of the 20 seats in the state. In 2014, the UDF had won 11 seats in Kerala, while the CPM-backed LDF had bagged the rest.

This puts the BJP at the mercy of leaders in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In Andhra Pradesh, N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is expected to lose heavily to Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSRCP. The exit poll suggests Jagan’s party will bag 18 to 22 of the 25 seats in the state. In the 2014 general elections in undivided Andhra Pradesh, the YSRCP had won only 9 seats. Jagan hasn’t yet revealed which way he will go after the election results are out. Naidu-led TDP has been predicted to win 4 to 6 seats. In 2014, the TDP had won 16 seats. In Telangana, the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is expected to remain strong. The exit poll has predicted 10-12 seats for KCR’s party, while BJP is expected to win anywhere between 1 and 3 seats.

NDTV’s poll of polls, which takes into account all eight exit polls, also has similar finds. The poll of polls has predicted TRS will win 12 of the 15 seats in Telangana. The Congress and BJP are expected to win two seats and one seat, respectively. NDTV’s polls predicts the AIADMK alliance to win 11 out of 39 seats in the state, while the DMK-Congress combined is predicted to win 26 seats. In Karnataka the BJP is predicted to win 18 seats, while the Congress and JD(S) are seen winning 9 seats. In Andhra Pradesh, YSRCP is predicted to win 16 of the 25 seats, while TDP is predicted to win nine seats.