Exit polls has predicted a win for the Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress Party government in Bihar, with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejaswi likely to become the next chief minister, ejecting incumbent Nitish Kumar.
C-Voter, which did exit polls for both Times Now and ABP Network, predicts around 116 seats for the BJP-led NDA and around 120 seats for the RJD-led Grand Alliance or Maha Gatbandhan.
The Republic TV exit poll, conducted by agency Jan Ki Baat, also puts the Grand Alliance clearly in the lead with a projection of around 128 seats against only 104 seats to the BJP-led formation.
According to India Today’s exit poll, a whopping 44% of the respondents want Tejaswi Yadav as the next chief minister, while only 35% want Nitish Kumar to continue in his post. 7% want Chirag Paswan as the next CM.
CNN News18 said the vote share of the Maha Gatbandhan will rise to 44% from 29% while that of the NDA will fall to 34% from 44%.
Thee are also exit polls from NewsX, India Today and India Ahead.
However, the full numbers from these exit polls are not available right now.
|TIMES NOW C-VOTER||116||120||1|
|REPUBLIC TV-JAN KI BAAT||91-117||118-138||6-7|
|INDIA AHEAD-ETG GROUP||114||120||3|
The results are quite surprising, given that nearly all the opinion polls had predicted a win for the BJP-led alliance.
Election analyst Amitabh Tiwari said Tejaswi Yadav may have succeeded in broadening the appeal of his party beyond the traditional vote base of Yadav and Muslim communities.
“Tejaswi brought in the CPI-ML, and may have succeeded in attracting the votes of economically backward classes outside the MY combination,” Tiwari said.
He also said Biharis may have been feeling ‘twin incumbency’ as the BJP has been in the center for more than one term, while Nitish Kumar has been the chief minister for three terms in a row.
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is also likely to have helped the opposition.
Congress leader Pawan Khera, who was on the ground in Bihar, said the exit polls have severely underestimated his front’s performance in the polls, and there will be a ‘storm’ in favor of the opposition when the votes are counted in three days.
AMIT SHAH FACTOR
While the numbers do give an edge to the Rashtriya Janata Dal formation, what the exit polls have not taken into account is the so-called Amit Shah factor.
Amit Shah has, in the past, been able to persuade opposition MLAs to resign their position, lowering the number of MLAs with the opposition and enabling the BJP-led formation to continue in power.
Given that the exit polls put the JDU alliance almost at the exact mid-point, the Amit Shah factor is likely to come into play in determining who forms the government in Bihar.
On the other hand, exit polls have been proven to be very prone to ‘conservative bias’. In other words, they tend to underestimate the quantum of electoral swings when people vote for change.
As such, an exit poll prediction of around 120 seats out of the 243-member assembly for the RJD formation can be read as an actual outcome of around 160-180 seats for the Maha Gatbandhan.