Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa, and Manipur states went to polls over the course of two months and the results of these states will be seen as a virtual referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity after his demonetization decision on November 8 last year.
A highly-charged final phase of campaigning for the Uttar Pradesh polls culminated on Wednesday with the show of strength by the BJP, the SP-Congress combine and the BSP in PM Narendra Modi’s Varanasi constituency taking centre stage where he camped for three days.
Meanwhile, ahead of the exit polls, Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “SP-Congress alliance is getting a majority in UP, Akhilesh will be the CM.”
The election campaign was marked with frequent name-calling, with all eyes on the March 11 results.
Over 60% was recorded in the last phase in UP, taking the voting percentage to nearly 61 in the staggered elections for 403-member Assembly.
The election is being billed as a litmus test for Modi as the BJP largely banked on his popularity in its bid for power, especially in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh where it has been out of government for 15 years.
In Punjab, 73 per cent polling was witnessed on February 4 while Goa had a record-breaking 83 per cent voter turnout.
It is the first outing for Aam Aadmi Party in Assembly Elections outside Delhi where it rules with an overwhelming majority in the state Assembly and it is being keenly watched if it succeeds in its claim of upsetting the applecart of the two major national parties.
In Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance is battling anti-incumbency while Amarinder Singh is leading Congress’ bid to return to power after ten years in the 117-member state assembly.
Manipur witnessed a turnout of about 86 per cent in the second phase with an overall voting percentage of 85 for the 60-member House.