As has been the case many a time in the past, quite a few exit poll surveys that predicted victory for the BJP and its allies in the Bihar assembly elections were proven wrong.
Today’s Chanakya, which gave maximum seats to the BJP and its allies — 155 to BJP and its allies and 83 to the Grand Alliance of three opposition parties — apologised for its “mistake”.
“We sincerely apologise (to) all our friends and well-wishers for not (being) able to predict Bihar. Congratulations to the winning alliance,” it said in a tweet.
The winning marker in the 143-seat assembly was 122 seats.
The only exit poll that accurately predicted Bihar results was Axis Ad-Print-Media (India) Ltd. that gave 58-70 seats to the BJP-led combine and 169-183 seats to the Janata Dal-United and its allies in the Grand Alliance.
But ironically, this was never broadcast on the Network 18 channels despite it being scheduled. The Mukesh Ambani owned media group’s decision not to run the exit poll was widely condemned on social media group.
According to a NDTV poll, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was poised to win 120-130 seats in the 243-member assembly, while the Grand Alliance comprising the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress was poised to win 105-115 seats.
Dainik Jagran survey gave 130 seats to the BJP combine and 97 to the JD-U and its allies.
Predicting similar trends, the ABP News-Nielsen predicted 130 seats for the BJP and allies and 108 for the Grand Alliance.
India Today-Cicero predicted 120 and 117 seats to the BJP and Grand Alliance respectively.
On the other hand, former Aam Aadmi Party leader and psephologist Yogendra Yadav and a few other poll survey agencies forecast a clear majority for the Grand Alliance led by Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav.
“I think the Grand Alliance is headed for a clear, perhaps even comfortable, majority. If my reading is correct, its tally could go well beyond the highest forecast of 130 seats,” Yadav wrote on Facebook.
Similarly, Times Now-CVoter (111 seats for BJP+, 122 seats for JD-U+), News Nation (117 BJP+, 122 JD-U+) and the NewsX/CNX (95 BJP+, 135 JD-U+) predicted a majority for the Grand Alliance.
Ironically, a day before the Bihar vote count, the BJP cadres were in a celebratory mode at the party’s 11 Ashoka Road headquarters here despite sharply divided opinions on the election results.