On Monday (May 12), after the last phase of India’s marathon 2014 Lok Sabha elections got over, almost all the major television channels broadcasted their exit poll results. Across channels, the exit polls predict a victory for the BJP-led NDA alliance.
Constituency wise exit polls for West Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies were conducted by two prominent news channels of national and international repute, the ABP News and Times Now. Both the exit poll results have predicted a win for Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat.
According to the exit poll conducted by the ABP News-Nielsen, TMC will bag 24 seats in Bengal including the Bardhaman-Durgapiur Lok Sabha seat. Also Times Now-ORG India exit poll has given 20 seats to TMC including the one of Bardhaman-Durgapur.
We will have to wait till tomorrow to know the correctness of their exit poll results. However one must not forget that in the past four elections, exit polls conducted by Indian news channels have consistently proved to be wrong by a huge margin.
As far as the national picture is concerned, the unanimous verdict of several exit polls has been, “Ab ki baar Modi sarkar”. Almost all of them have predicted either that the NDA would get a majority or would get very close to it. The polls also agreed that the BJP would get its highest tally ever — the range varying from a little over 200 to just under 300.
Most polls also predicted that the Congress would be reduced to its lowest ever tally, though one of them, the Times Now-ORG poll, put the party’s tally at between 111 and 138 seats, which means it could do better than the 114 seats it got in 1999.
There have been widespread reports of rigging, booth capturing, and assault on opposition party’s polling agents and violence in Bardhaman-Durgapur parliamentary constituency on 30 April. Left Front demanded re-polling in as many as 153 polling booths and even the Left Front candidate for the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha constituency sat on a “dharna” outside the Bardhaman DM’s office on the polling day.
Later Election Commission ordered re-polling in four polling booths of the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha constituency; re-polling was held on May 13.
Now let us analyze the broad picture of the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat which went into poll on 30 April. If we go by statistics of the Assembly election held in 2011, TMC and received 48.67% of the total valid polled votes in the seven assembly segments that are under the Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seats., while the Left Front got 45.94% of the total valid polled votes. BJP managed to get 3.36% of the vote share.
Of the seven assemblies that are under Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seats, TMC won in Bardhaman Dakshin, Durgapur Purba, Durgapur Paschim and Bhatar assembly seats. While Left Front candidates won in Bardhaman Uttar, Galsi and Monteswar assembly seats.
An aggregate of the votes received by TMC and Left Front suggests that while TMC got a total of 6,14,652 votes; Left Front candidates got 5,80,251 votes. This translates into a victory margin of 34,401 votes for TMC.
Now, in the 2011 assembly election TMC and Congress fought together which will definitely eat into TMC’s share of vote in this Lok Sabha poll. Also BJP’s strength has increased. It is quite expected that BJP will manage to get around 12% of the votes; a definite increase from their 3.36% from the assembly election of 2011.
The issue of TET (Teachers Eligibility Test) and Saradha Scam may also have its impact to some extent. But one needs to factor the issue of rigging and intimidation on the polling day which several media houses have reported.
Thus it will not be such a smooth sailing for TMC in Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat. The exit polls conducted by ABP News and Times Now hopefully have factored all the above statistics before declaring the verdict of a TMC win in Bardhaman-Durgapur.