New Delhi: Exit polls at the end of five-state elections on Monday evening predicted a Trinamool sweep in West Bengal, a BJP win in Assam, a Left victory in Kerala but the verdict was split over Tamil Nadu, with advantage to the DMK. The DMK was also tipped to win in Puducherry.
In the biggest popularity test since the Lok Sabha polls of 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared poised to win in Assam for the first time, ending 15 long years of Congress rule.
BJP leaders had admitted even before the start of the staggered elections last month that the party's best chances lay in Assam.
The BJP-led alliance could bag 79 to 93 seats in the 126-member Assam assembly, three exit polls said. A fourth survey gave the BJP and its two allies - Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) - 57 seats, close to the critical half-way mark.
The India Today-Axis exit poll gave 79-93 seats to the BJP combine, 26-33 to the Congress and 6-10 to the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF).
ABP-Nielsen predicted 81 seats to the BJP coalition, 33 to the Congress and 10 to the AIUDF.
The NewsX Chanakya poll gave 90 seats to the BJP combine, 27 to the Congress and nine to the AIUDF. According to TimesNow C-Voter exit poll, the BJP and allies would get 57 seats, the Congress 41, AIUDF 18 and others 10.
In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was set to retain power with a slightly reduced majority.
According to ABP-Nielsen, the Trinamool would win 163 of the 294 assembly seats. The CPI-M-led Left Front and the Congress combine would get 126 with a solitary seat going to the BJP. Others would get four seats.
But it warned that in 25 constituencies the margin of victory was set to be less than five percent, and the final outcome could drastically change depending on the results in these seats.
C-Voter also predicted 167 seats for the Trinamool, 75 for the Left, 45 for the Congress, four to the BJP and three to others.
NewsX-Today's Chanakya predicted a whopping 210 (plus or minus 14) seats for the Trinamool, 70 (plus or minus nine) for the Left-Congress and 14 rpt 14 (plus or minus five) seats for the BJP.
The exit polls were divided over Tamil Nadu.
Three surveys predicted a defeat for Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's AIADMK. But a fourth said she would retain power comfortably, winning 139 of the 234 seats.
The News Nation TV exit poll gave 95-99 seats to the AIADMK and 114-118 to the DMK-Congress alliance. The People Welfare Front (PWF), made up of six parties, could get 14 seats and the BJP four seats. Nine seats could go to others.
The Axis-My India exit poll predicted 124-140 seats to the DMK-Congress alliance, 89-110 to the AIADMK, 0-3 to the BJP and 4-8 to others.
NewsX-Today's Chanakya predicted that DMK-Congress alliance would get 140 (plus or minus 11) seats and AIADMK winning 90 (plus or minus) nine seats.
C-Voter, however, gave 139 seats to the AIADMK and 78 to the DMK coalition.
In Kerala, however, the Left could return to power.
The India Today-Axis exit poll gave 88 to 101 seats to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the 140-member house and 38-48 to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). The BJP could get zero to three seats while one to four seats may go to others.
The India TV C-Voter exit poll predicted 74-82 seats to the LDF, which is led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
The NewsX-Today's Chanakya poll predicted 75 (plus or minus nine) seats for LDF and 57 (plus or minus nine) seats for the UDF. The BJP, it said, could get 8 (plus or minus four seats).
Exit polls predicted a win for the DMK-Congress alliance in Puducherry too, ousting the ruling All India NR Congress.