Bengaluru: The exit polls, released on Sunday, predicted a clear edge for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Congress alliance in Tamil Nadu, pushing the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance onto the back foot in the southern state.
According to the India Today Exit poll, the DMK-Congress alliance is likely to bag 34-38 seats, while it gave the AIADMK 0-4 seats.
Times Now gave the Congress-DMK alliance 29 seats while the AIADMK-BJP alliance nine. Times Now indicated the BJP will win Puducherry.
The polling in Vellore was cancelled after election authorities unearthed several irregularities, including large hoards of cash.
Exit polls predicted that the DMK-Congress alliance, including seven other regional outfits, was expected to have a good outing in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls against 2014, when it was wiped out by the wave led by former and late chief minister J. Jayalalitha.
In 2014, the Jayalalitha-led All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had swept 37 out of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and former union minister Anbumani Ramadoss-led Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) bagged one each.
But the fortunes of the AIADMK changed after Jayalalitha’s death in 2016. A rival faction led by T.T.V. Dinakaran and his aunt and former close aide of Jayalalithaa, V.K.Sasikala, who is currently serving jail term in Bengaluru, had since tried to muster up numbers to bring down the Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam led-AIADMK government.
The AIADMK has 113 seats in the 234-seater legislative assembly in Tamil Nadu. The DMK has 88, Congress has eight and two independents and one speaker. The by-polls for 22 assembly seats, most of who defected to the T.T.V. Dinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), were held along with the parliamentary elections, and the results will be announced on 23 May.
The DMK-Congress alliance is not just confident of winning most of the Lok Sabha seats in the state, but also of forming the government in the state post the results.
The DMK contested 20 out the total 40 seats in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry, while the Congress fought in 10 seats, including one in Puducherry. The Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) will contest two seats each and four other partners contested in one seat each.
The BJP contested in five seats as part of the alliance with the AIADMK, which will contest the remaining seats, along with smaller regional allies.
The results will be formally declared on 23 May.
Ekta Jain and Harshita Swaminathan from Bengaluru contributed to this story