J&K yet too far for Modi; Jharkhand may favour BJP: exit polls

The record 65 per cent turnout of voters in J&K is largely seen as an indication of a change of mood in the Valley, but not necessarily in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party, while the over 70 per cent polling in Jharkhand portends a BJP victory in the state, according to latest opinion polls.

According to a CSDS opinion poll projection, the PDP had an upper hand with the National Conference trailing it and BJP showing up nowhere near the eligibility mark.

When asked who would be the preferred chief minister of the state, the highest number of votes went to Mufti Mohammed Sayeed of the PDP. Mufti was voted the most preferred CM by 23 per cent in Kashmir and 11 per cent in Jammu, this was followed by Omar Abdullah where 14 per cent in Jammu and 13 per cent in Kashmir thought he should be CM. BJP's Dr Jitender Singh got only 6 per cent votes in Jammu and 1 per cent in Kashmir.

Overall polling percentage recorded for 5th phase of Jharkhand Assembly election stood at 71.25 per cent, as per EC estimates while the voter turnout of 65 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir is the highest in the last 25 years, terming it historic and unprecedented.

The BJP won't win the elections if the AXIS-APM exit poll numbers have got it right.

The PDP gets the highest numbers but misses majority with 36-41 seats in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by the BJP which is predicted to win 16-22 seats, NC may win between 9-13 seats, the Congress is reduced to 9-13 seats, JKNPP - 2-4 and others - 4-6.

Polling took place in 20 assembly constituencies in the fifth and final phase of elections in Jammu and Kashmir, with over 18 lakh eligible voters and 213 candidates in the fray across Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts.

Prominent candidates include Sham Lal Sharma (Akhnoor), Raman Bhalla (Gandhinagar), Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand (Chhamb) and Manohar Lal Sharma (Billawar). A total of 2,366 polling stations have been set up.

In Jharkhand, polling took place in 16 of the 81 assembly constituencies in the last round of the five-phase elections. There were over 36 lakh voters, including more than 17 lakh women, while 208 candidates - 16 of them women - were in the fray.

Balloting will take place at 3,773 polling booths out of which 833 booths have been declared as very sensitive, while another 1,496 have been declared sensitive.

The fate of chief minister Hemant Soren, of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), will be decided in this phase. Soren, who is the sitting legislator from Dumka, is contesting from both Dumka and Barhet.

Other prominent candidates are assembly Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta, minister Lobin Hembrom, Sita Soren, who is the daughter-in-law of Shibu Soren and sister-in-law of the state chief minister, Bharatiya Janata Party national secretary Louise Marandi, and former minister Simon Marandi.