Exit polls for Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections have one clear takeaway – the Congress is in deep trouble. In Haryana, the Congress might be reduced to single-digit numbers while in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena is set to overtake the Congress as the primary opposition party in the state.
Here’s a look at how Congress has fared in the exit polls for Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections.
Couldn’t Capitalise On Anti-Incumbency Sentiment in Haryana
According to the ABP-CVoter opinion poll conducted days before the election in Haryana, 57.5 percent of the respondents said they wanted to change the state government immediately. Moreover, 52.8 percent said they wanted to change the chief minister and 64 percent said they wanted to change their local MLA. Clearly then, anti-incumbency sentiment was strong in the state.
However, despite this, it seems the Congress has been unable to convert the anger against the Khattar government into votes. Most exit polls predict a clean sweep for the BJP in Haryana.
In fact, according to ABP-CVoter exit poll cited here, Congress’ poor showing means it might be unable to get even 10 percent of the seats. This effectively means no Leader of Opposition (LoP) for Congress in the Assembly & subsequently, an increasingly precarious position.
One reason for Congress’ situation is the lack of a clear CM face in Haryana. While BJP had Manohar Lal Khattar, it seems like Congress wasn’t able to project Bhupinder Singh Hooda as a viable alternative. The second, maybe more overwhelming factor is the popularity of PM Modi.
According to the CVoter opinion poll in Haryana conducted before the elections, 71.6 percent respondents were in favour of PM Narendra Modi as the most popular prime ministerial face. Congress’ Rahul Gandhi garnered only 7.6 percent. The gap between these two figures speaks volumes of the popularity of the two leaders, and some may even argue, clarity on the leadership issue in the two parties.
In Maharashtra, BJP-Shiv Sena Rising; Congress in Crisis
Congress’ leadership crisis in Maharashtra seems to have reflected in the party’s showing in the state, with the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance potentially winning the state in a landslide.
Looking closer at the numbers for the Congress-NCP alliance reveals an unprecedented situation for Congress in the state: Congress is no longer the main opposition party in the state. According to News18-IPSOS exit poll, Congress might be winning 17 seats in the state – less than 10 percent of the total seats. With Shiv Sena approaching the halfway-mark according to some exit polls, it seems that Congress leadership in Maharashtra has some serious introspection to do.