NEW DELHI :
If pollsters are to be believed, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is headed for a landslide victory in both Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections. Voting for the two states ended in the evening today. In the 288 seats of Maharashtra, the primary contest is between the 'Mahayuti' or grand alliance led by the BJP, and the 'maha-aghadi' (front) led by the Congress and NCP. Led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is fighting from Nagpur South-West seat, the BJP is seeking a second consecutive term in the state along with key ally Shiv Sena.
In Haryana, on the other hand, the BJP led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has set an ambitious target of winning 75 seats out of 90.
Besides the two BJP-ruled states, assembly bypolls were also held in 51 seats and Lok Sabha by-elections in two constituencies across India.
Live Updates of Maharashtra, Haryana Exit Polls:
-"The Congress has always believed that opinion polls and exit polls are at the best, speculative tools that have been way off the mark on more often than not," said Congress Secretary, communications, Pranav Jha
-Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said the party has faith in the judgement of voters and this will be reflected on the day of counting.
"Our ground feedback makes us believe that unemployment, farm distress, economic crisis and painful living conditions due to the misgovernance of the state governments of Haryana and Maharashtra are going to decide the results. We think that people would have remembered these issues while polling and it will reflect on the day of the counting," he said.
-Another BJP spokesperson, Nalin Kohli, said, "It is a reiteration and reaffirmation of the credibility of the leadership of PM Modi in terms of his positive agenda of change that focusses on development and building a new India for aspirational India."
He said it also confirms that by pursuing a positive agenda the state government and its leadership stand a chance of being rewarded by voters.
-NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik though questioned the exit poll figures.
"What is the sample size of the surveys? Sometimes exit poll surveys depict right picture, while sometimes they are incorrect. So, the true picture will be known on October 24," Malik said.
Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant seconded Malik and dismissed the surveys.
-Asked about exit poll results, Maharashtra BJP chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said they were on expected lines.
"The exit poll survey (figures) and today's voting percentage are as per expectations. The voting per cent seems to be same as that was during 2014 polls. There seems to be no big difference," he said.
-The exit poll conducted by Neta App predicts 206 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena combine in Maharashtra and 68 seats for BJP in Haryana.
- Maharashtra exit polls: CNN News 18-IPSOS exit poll has envisaged a thumping victory for the BJP-Shiv Sena combine, giving it as many as 243 seats, the most by any exit poll.
-At least 4 out of 6 exit polls have predicted that the BJP-Shiv Sena combine will be back with more than 200 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.
-Maharashtra Assembly election: The BJP had won 122 seats in the 2014 assembly polls while the Shiv Sena had bagged 63 seats.
-The BJP had came to power in Haryana for the first time in the 2014 Assembly elections when it won 47 seats.
-The BJP currently has 48 MLAs in the Haryana Assembly.
-In the last Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won all the 10 seats in Haryana and is therefore hopeful of crossing the 2/3rd mark in the assembly elections.
-In the April-May Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-Sena alliance won 41 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, while the Congress won one and NCP four seats.
-News 18 Exit polls: A total of 10,800 voters were interviewed from 72 assembly constituencies in Maharashtra and 3,450 voters were interviews from 23 assembly constituencies in Haryana.
-The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), led by Raj Thackeray, has fielded 101 candidates in the western state.
-Union Minister Piyush Goyal has predicted that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra will win around 225 seats.
-Maharashtra Assembly elections saw a voter turnout of around 63 per cent, almost matching the 63.38 per cent polling recorded in the last state elections in 2014.
-In the run-up to the elections, the BJP had made a big pitch about revoking Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, while the Opposition Congress-NCP combine was focusing on economic slowdown, job losses and agrarian crisis.
-The BJP will win more than 3-4th seats in Haryana, according to most exit polls.
-Haryana exit polls: CNN-IPSOS projects 75 seats for BJP and 10 seats for Congress.
-Haryana: The Poll of Polls has given the BJP 63, with Congress at 16 and others at 11. Total seats: 90.
-Haryana exit polls: News 18 predicts that the Congress will get only 10 seats out of 90 in Haryana.
-The poll of polls brought out by the NDA gave the BJP and the Congress 66 and 14 seats respectively in Haryana, and 211 and 64 for the saffron alliance and the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra.
-News 18 has predicted 141 seats for BJP and 102 seats for Shiv Sena.
-Maharashtra: Times Now, News 18-Ipsos, ABP-CVoter, India Today-Axis My India, Republic-Jan Ki Baat and News X have predicted win for the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP+ in Maharashtra assembly elections.
-Four exit polls -- Times Now, Republic-Jan Ki Baat, News18-Ipsos and TV9-Bharatvarsh -- show that the BJP will win easily in Haryana.
-Haryana exit poll results: TV9-Bharatvarsh seems to be giving the least number of seats to BJP in Haryana. According to the poll, the BJP will win 47 seats in the northern state. It would still be above the majority mark of 46 seats.
-India Today-Axis My India exit poll said they will release the figures for Haryana assembly election tomorrow only.
-The BJP-Shiv Sena combine had bagged 185 seats in the last Maharashtra Assembly elections held in 2014, after which a government headed by Devendra Fadnavis was formed.
-Maharashtra exit poll: CVoter estimates that around 46.4% votes.
-Maharashtra exit poll: According to India Today-Axis My India exit poll, the BJP will emerge as the single largest party in the state with 109-124 seats. Its ally, the Shiv Sena, will bag 57-70 seats.
-Haryana exit polls: In terms of vote share, the BJP appears to have cornered 44.1 per cent while the Congress seems to have got 27.7 per cent.
-Maharashtra exit polls: NewsX-Polstrat predicts that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will win 188-200 seats. Congress will manage to bag 74-89 seats.
-Most polls predict easy win for BJP in both Haryana and Maharashtra.
-Haryana Exit Polls: NewsX-Polstrat predicts that BJP will achieve its target of winning 75 seats.
-Haryana exit polls: Republic-Jan Ki Baat survey predicts that the BJP will bag anywhere between 52-63 seats. The Congress will manage only 15-19 constituencies.
-In Maharashtra, ABP News-C Voter sruvey predicts that the BJP-led alliance will win between 192-216 seats out of 288.
-The ruling BJP looks set for a landslide victory in Haryana, with IANS-CVoter Exit Poll on Monday predicting 68-76 seats for the saffron party in the 90-member Assembly.
-Times Now predicts that in Haryana, the BJP will retain power by bagging 71 seats. The ruling party had set a target of getting 75 seats out of 90.
- According to Times Now exit poll, BJP and Shiv Sena will win around 230 seats in Maharashtra while Congress and NCP will manage around 48 seats.
-According to News18-IPSOS survey, BJP and allies will get 243 seats in Maharashtra out of 288.
-According to India Today-AxisMyIndia exit poll results in Maharashtra, BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will get anywhere between 166 and 194 seats while Congress is likely to get 72-90 seats. Maharashtra has 288 seats.
-Union Minister Nitin Gadkari exuded confidence that BJP will retain power in both Maharashtra and Haryana. He said the saffron party will have record-breaking victories in both the states.
-In Maharashtra, the Congress has candidates in 147 constituencies and NCP is contesting in 121 seats.
-The Congress party is upset with its leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi for calling Hindu Mahasabha ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar an 'accomplished man,' who had participated in India's freedom struggle.
- Polling began at 7 am and will end at 6 pm. Till 5 pm, Haryana recorded a voter turnout of 51.93% while Maharashtra witnessed an even lower ratio of 44.05%.
- In Maharashtra, the BJP has fielded its nominees in 164 Assembly seats, including candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while Shiva Sena is contesting in the remaining 124 seats.
-Counting of votes would be held on October 24.
-The Election Commission has asked all pollsters and media houses to release exit poll results only after a 30-minute gap following the end of voting.
-Several Bollywood celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Lara Dutta, stepped out to vote for the Maharashtra Assembly elections.