As Telangana voted for its first Assembly election on Friday, several pollsters came out with their predictions for who will form the government in the state. Two of the five exit polls conducted by various agencies predict a win for the TRS in the state. Three others have predicted a hung Assembly situation – however, the numbers are within easy reach of the TRS to form the government in the state, with the AIMIM’s help.
The India Today-My Axis exit poll has predicted a massive victory for TRS in the state, with 79 to 91 seats in the 119 member Assembly, with the median at a comfortable 85 – 25 seats more than the halfway mark of 60. The poll has predicted a meagre 21 to 33 seats for the Congress-led Prajakutami, with a median of 27. The BJP has been projected to win between 1 and 3 seats. The poll has predicted a whopping 46% vote share for the TRS, 37% for the Congress+, 7% for the BJP, 3% for the AIMIM, and 7% for others.
The Republic TV-C-voter exit poll has predicted a hung Assembly in the state, with the TRS and the Congress-led Prajakutami being neck and neck. They’ve predicted between 48 and 60 seats (median 54) in the 119 member House, and between 47 and 59 seats for the Congress (median 53). The BJP has been projected to win between 1 and 11 seats.
The Republic TV-Jan ki baat survey has also predicted a hung Assembly situation in the state – As per the median numbers in the poll, TRS can form the government in the 119 member Assembly, provided it gets the support of either the BJP, or the MIM.
The poll has predicted that TRS will be the party with the highest number of seats, between 50 and 65, with a median of 58. For the Congress, the poll has predicted between 38 and 52 seats, with a median of 45; BJP has been projected to win between four and seven seats (median six), and the AIMIM has been projected to win between five and seven seats (median six). The polls has predicted between three and seven seats for others (median four).
The Jan ki baat poll has however predicted a higher vote share for the Congress-led Prajakutami in the state. While the TRS has been projected to get a vote share of 30.3%, the Prajakutami has been predicted to get a vote share of 38.7%. The BJP and MIM have been projected to win 9 and 3.5% vote share respectively.
A third exit poll – the iTV-NETA survey – has also predicted a hung Assembly in Telangana, with 57 seats for TRS, and 46 seats for the Congress-led alliance. The poll has predicted 6 seats for BJP, and 10 for others.
The Times Now-CNX exit poll has predicted a win for the TRS in the state, with 66 seats. The Congress-led Prajakutami has been projected to win 37 seats, while the BJP has been projected to win 7 seats. The poll has predicted 9 seats to others, including the MIM.
In the 2014 election, TRS won 63 seats in the state, the Congress won 21, the TDP 15, the BJP 5, and the BSP 2. However, there were several defections later on, and at the time the Assembly was dissolved on September 6, TRS had 90 MLAs, the Congress had 14, and the TDP, just 2.
Earlier, Around 70% voter turnout in state as polling ends. The state of Telangana which went to the polls on Friday saw a voter turnout of 67% as of 5 pm as the polling ended on a peaceful note, barring minor incidents. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajat Kumar said that the turnout was expected to increase another one or two percent.
Polling ended in 106 constituencies at 5 pm but those standing in queues were allowed to cast their votes. Umesh Sinha from the Election Commission said that in 2014, the voter turnout recorded was 69.5%.
The exact poll percentage will be known after receipt of detailed reports from the districts, officials said in Hyderabad.
Earlier in the day, the Election Commission said that according to the information it received, 56.17% of over 2.8 crore voters across the state had cast their votes by 3 pm. Polling came to an end in 13 left wing extremism affected constituencies at 4 pm, while in the remaining 106 segments, polling concluded at 5 pm.
The 13 constituencies where polling ended early are Sirpur, Chennur, Bellampally, Mancherial, Asifabad, Manthani, Bhupalpalle, Mulugu, Pinapaka, Yellandu, Kothagudem, Aswaraopeta and Bhadrachalam.
Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar said that barring sporadic incidents, polling was peaceful and smooth in all 32,815 polling stations spread across 31 districts. In some polling centres, the process started late due to technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
This included the polling booth at AV college in Hyderabad, MPCP School in Yapral in Malkajgiri district, one polling booth in Banjara Hills, and Lal Bahadur school in Nimboliadda.
Voters at several places complained that their names were missing from the voter list. Some voters staged a protest over officials not allowing them to cast their votes in the absence of voter slips.
Prominent names that were missing from voter list include the family members of Finance Minister Etela Rajender and badminton player Jwala Gutta.
Asked about the names missing from electoral rolls, Rajat Kumar told reporters, “It is a problem and it has to be addressed. We are going to take up another special summary revision before January 1 for the Parliamentary elections. I apologize for the mistake but there is nothing we can do. We will look at what went wrong and solve it.”
300 people protested at the electoral office in Kamareddy district, alleging that their data had been erased from electoral rolls. At one point in time, they sat on the road, holding up their voter ID cards in protest.
Many celebrities including actors Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna and Junior NTR, tennis star Sania Mirza and ace shuttler P V Sindhu cast their votes.
Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President K Chandrasekhar Rao cast his vote in his village in Siddipet district and exuded confidence that his party will retain power with a huge majority. Governor E S L Narasimhan and his wife exercised their franchise near Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad.
Congress Telangana unit chief Uttam Kumar Reddy voted in Kodad constituency. BJP’s state unit chief K Laxman and AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi did so in Hyderabad.
Over 50,000 security personnel, including 18,860 from neighbouring states and central forces, were deployed as part of the security arrangements. Over 1.50 lakh polling personnel were on duty to conduct the polling process. As many as 55,329 EVMs and 39,763 control units were in use.
For the first time, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) were installed across the state. The authorities have arranged 42,751 VVPATs, which are attached to the EVMs and will display for seven seconds the choice made by the voter.
The elections are a contest between the ruling TRS, which is contesting all seats on its own, and the Congress-led People’s Front that includes Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS).
The BJP is the third key force in some constituencies. The Bahujan Left Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are also contesting majority of the seats.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is contesting eight seats in Hyderabad. The TRS opted for dissolution of the Assembly in September, eight months before its term was to end. #KhabarLive