The states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and national capital Delhi are colloquially known as the ‘Hindi belt’. These states contribute a significant portion (216) of total Lok Sabha seats in the parliament. As such, any party wanting to form the government in the centre has to perform well in the ‘Hindi Belt.’ Based on the exit polls by various agencies, we analyzed the likely scenario of ‘Hindi Belt’ in 2019.
Examining the major exit polls this time, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India today Axis survey has given 65 seats to NDA, 2 seat to UPA and 13 to SP-BSP Mahagathbandhan. The Times Now-VMR gave 58 seats to NDA, 02 seats to UPA and 20 to Mahagathbandhan. India TV- CNX has given 50 seats to NDA, 2 seats to UPA and 28 seats to the Mahagathbandhan.
The Republic TV collaborated with C voter as well as Jann ki Baat. The C voter gave 38 seats to NDA, 2 to UPA and 40 to Mahagathbandhan. The Jann ki Baat was more generous towards NDA and gave it 46-57 seats while 2-4 seats go to Congress party and 21-32 to Mahagathbandhan. The News24 Chanakya gave 65 seats to NDA, 2 to UPA and 18 to Mahagathbandhan. The News 18-IPSOS gave 62 seats to NDA, 1 to UPA and 17 to Mahagathbandhan.
In Bihar (40 seats), most of the pollsters gave more than 30 seats to NDA while the tally of UPA and other varies from 0 to 10. In the last general election, BJP has been able make significant inroads in Bihar for the first time in the last seven decades and won 22 seats. NDA allies LJP and RLSP had won 6 and 3 seats respectively.
In the state of Rajasthan (25 seats) where BJP made a clean sweep victory on its own in 2014 general election, the number of seats pollsters gave to BJP varies between 21 to 25. The dismal performance of Congress in the previous general election has been repeated in 2019. The seats given to Congress are between 2 to 4 despite good performance in 2018 assembly election. This is a clear indication that even if the voters are not happy with performance of regional leadership in any state, the popularity and acceptability of PM Modi is very good.
In Madhya Pradesh (29 seats) BJP bagged 26 seats while Congress got 3 seats in the previous general election. This time pollsters gave 18-28 seats to BJP while the tally of Congress party was from 1-11.
In Jharkhand (14 seats), the pollsters gave 6 to 14 seats to NDA while the number of seats to UPA was from 0 to 6. In the last general election, NDA reached its best ever tally with 12 seats while UPA was reduced to 2 seats.
In Chhattisgarh (11 seats), the tally of UPA and NDA was very close with seats to NDA between 6-9 and 2-4 to UPA. In the previous general election, BJP scored its best ever tally with 11 seats while UPA was reduced to mere 1 seat. The Congress party performed exceptionally well in the state in 2018 assembly election and perhaps the pollsters taken this into account while calculating the tally.
In Haryana where BJP has been able to make inroads for the first time in 2014 general elections, most of the pollsters have given all 10 seats to BJP in 2019. Some pollsters have given 1-2 seats to UPA. In 2014 Lok Sabha election, BJP, INLD, and Congress won 7,2, and 1 seats to Congress respectively.
In Delhi (7 seats), BJP made a clean sweep in last general election despite all the efforts of AAP. In 2019 as well, most of the exit polls have predicted a clean sweep in favor of BJP.
Going by the exit poll results, it is very clear that BJP will hold the ‘Hindi Belt’ states including Uttar Pradesh. However, exit polls have been notoriously unreliable in the past and as such, it is prudent to wait for the final results on 23rd May.