India has voted, and this is who we believe they voted for and why. Seven rounds of voting saw India participate in the planet’s largest democratic exercise.
So, whose fortune will shine and whose will fade is the big question. Let’s look at some of the big face-offs, the Exit Poll result of which may well influence the outcome and subsequent alliances.
Constituency: Arunachal West, Arunachal Pradesh
Candidate: Nabam Tuki (INC), Kiren Rijiju (BJP)
Kiren Rijiju was expected to win this seat again, but the Citizenship Amendment Bill has left a large section of voters unhappy with the BJP. The voters have voted against Rijiju, and Nabam Tuki is the beneficiary.
Constituency: Patna Sahib
Candidate: Shatrughan Sinha (Cong); Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP)
This contest was a test of personality versus party. Shatrughan Sinha has won this seat in 2009 and 2014 on a BJP ticket, and his recent switch over to the Congress has not resulted in a shift in the loyalty of the voters many of whom voted for Ravi Shankar Prasad, proving party has triumphed personality, in this contest.
Candidate: Kanhaiya Kumar (CPI); Giriraj Singh (BJP), Tanveer Hassan (RJD)
This result is expected to be one of the big upsets of 2019. CPI candidate and first time Lok Sabha seat contestant Kanhaiya Kumar is likely to beat Giriraj Singh of the BJP and Tanveer Hassan (RJD). While Giriraj Singh was the reluctant candidate from this constituency and Tanveer Hassan who polled a 34.31 percent vote share in 2014 was expected to give a strong fight to Giriraj Singh. No expected Kanhaiya Kumar to get past both, but it seems the voters have expressed frustration with both BJP and RJD.
Constituency: North East Delhi
Candidate: Sheila Dikshit (Cong); Manoj Tiwari (BJP); Dilip Pandey (AAP)
Winner in 2014: Manoj Tiwari (BJP)
People of northeast Delhi have once again placed their faith in the proven workhorse in Sheila Dikshit (Cong). Many believed Manoj Tiwari (BJP) would do an encore winning the seat again Sheila Dikshit remains a formidable force in Delhi and people’s hearts.
Candidate: Amit Shah (BJP); CJ Chavda (INC)
Gandhinagar has remained loyal to BJP since 1989 and 2019 is no different. As expected, the BJP party president is winning the Gandhinagar seat.
Candidate: Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Cong); Ramesh Chander Kaushik (BJP); Digvijay Chautala (JJP)
Winner in 2014: Ramesh Chander Kaushik (BJP)
Ex-CM of Haryana BS Hooda was expected to make a comeback, but it seems Ramesh Chander Kaushik (BJP) has managed to hold on to his seat. For BS Hooda, it is critical to winning, but the local mood seems to point people in Sonipat have continued to place their faith in BJP. In 2014, RC Kaushik (BJP) won the seat winning 35.19 percent vote share with Jagbir Singh Malik (INC) mustering 27.35 percent votes.
Candidate: Anurag Thakur (BJP); Ram Lal Thakur (Cong)
Hamirpur seems to have once again remained loyal to the BJP and Anurag Thakur in particular.
Jammu & Kashmir
Candidate: Mehbooba Mufti (PDP); Hasnain Masoodi (NC); Ghulam Ahmad Mir (Cong)
On expected lines, Mehbooba Mufti has managed to retain this seat. Unfortunately, the result does not truly reflect people’s choice as the voter turnout was abysmally low in Anantnag. A higher voter turnout could well have offered a different result.
Candidate: Shibu Soren (JMM); Sunil Soren (BJP)
Shibu Soren has once again beaten his BJP rival. At 75, he remains a strong leader with a loyal support base among his tribal community. The result is on expected lines.
Candidate: Mallikarjun Kharge (INC), Umesh Jadhav (BJP)
On expected lines, ex-Union minister Mallikarjun Kharge (INC) is winning this Gulbarga seat. Umesh Jadhav (BJP) had a tough fight at the outset given Mallikarjun Kharge cornering 50.82 percent vote share in 2014. Voters have continued to place faith with the Congress in this constituency.
Candidate: Rahul Gandhi (INC), PP Suneer (CPI), Usha K (CPI-M)
Rahul Gandhi is winning the Wayanad seat and is in keeping with the loyalty voters had shown to the Congress since 2009 when KL Shanavas (INC) won the seat in 2009. The Left parties – CPI and CPI-M were upset at the Congress fielding Rahul Gandhi against their candidates. For the Congress president, winning this seat sends out a message he remains the Congress party leader.
Candidate: Digvijay Singh (Cong); Pragya Singh Thakur (BJP); Madho Singh Ahirwar (BSP)
Winner in 2014: Alok Sanjar (BJP)
Bhopal has voted for Digvijay Singh, and he has been helped in large part by the obnoxious and condemnable utterances by the BJP candidate Pragya Singh Thakur. Many voters who were undecided between the BJP and the Congress, have voted for the latter. This includes the first time voters.
Candidate: Jyotiraditya Scindia (Cong)
Winner in 2014: Jyotiraditya Scindia (Cong)
Guna has remained loyal to the Scindia family Jyotiraditya Scindia (Cong) is winning this seat once again. In 2014, he won the seat getting 52.89 percent votes. Once again, the voters are expected to extend their loyalty to him.
Constituency: Mumbai South
Candidate: Milind Deora (INC), Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena)
Milind Deora (INC) is winning the Mumbai South seat. With no NCP, MNS, AAP and CPI candidates to split votes, Deora it seems has been the biggest beneficiary. Sawant who won the 2014 elections with a vote share of 48.04 percent could not match the NCP-Congress combine with MNS votes also going in favour of the INC candidate
Candidate: Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda (BJP), Anubhav Mohanty (BJD)
Kendrapara has remained Jay Panda’s stronghold since 2009 and voters here seem to have remained loyal to him as he shifted his loyalty to BJP from BJD. Jay Panda winning the seat is a certainty and will help BJP shore up the seat share in the state.
Candidate: Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD); Amrinder Singh Raja Warring (Cong); Baljinder Kaur (AAP)
Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) has managed to retain the Bhatinda seat though Congress candidate did not put up a close fight Manpreet Singh Badal had in 2014.
Candidate: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (BJP), Vaibhav Gehlot (INC)
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was expected to retain his seat, but anti-incumbency seems to have caught up with him. Vaibhav Gehlot (INC), son of CM Ashok Gehlot, had a tough fight at hand. The win here is important to the Congress to reaffirm the CM’s hold over the constituency and also give out a message the anti-incumbency is not restricted to the state, but voters here feel strongly about the Delhi as well.
Candidate: Kanimozhi (DMK), Tamilisai Soundararajan (BJP)
BJP was pinning their hopes on Tamilisai Soundararajan, the state BJP head, to defeat DMK patriarch Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi. The voters seem to have put the ghost of 2G behind and have strongly backed her against the BJP candidate. By how much, we will know on 23 May.
Candidate: Narendra Modi (BJP); Ajay Rai (Cong); Shalini Yadav (SP)
Varanasi has once again voted for Narendra Modi but unlike in 2014 when the PM won 56.37 percent vote share, this time the margin of difference is expected to be lower, possibly significantly lower. A large part for this is the late entry of Priyanka Gandhi into the campaigning mix and the resulting excitement generated by the possibility of her contesting against the PM. The loss of vote share will certainly make PM Modi do some serious introspection.
Candidate: Rahul Gandhi (Cong); Smriti Irani (BJP)
After much speculation and debate, Rahul Gandhi is winning Amethi seat. SP-BSP-RLD alliance did not put up any candidate against Rahul Gandhi and have voted for him. All together has proved too much for Smriti Irani who offered a glimmer of hope to the BJP of causing the 2019 elections’ biggest upset.
Candidate: Rajnath Singh (BJP); Poonam Sinha (SP); Pramod Krishnam (Cong)
Rajnath Singh is winning the Lucknow seat, but Poonam Sinha (SP) has given a tough fight. Many believe if the Congress had not put up a candidate, there would have been a good chance of a major upset here.
Candidate: Azam Khan (SP), Jaya Prada (BJP)
It was expected to be a battle royale, and it was. Ex-SP leader Jaya Prada was expected to wonders for the BJP but fell short against the combined strength of SP-BSP in Azam Khan’s backyard. Azam Khan (SP) turned out the winner. Sanjay Kapoor (INC) was not in contention, but his entry into the contest helped cut into BJP’s vote share which in turn helped Azam Khan garner more votes.
Candidate: Maneka Gandhi (BJP); Chandra Bhadra Singh (BSP); Dr Sanjay Singh (Cong)
Winner in 2014: Varun Gandhi (BJP)
Maneka Gandhi (BJP) is losing this seat to Chandra Bhadra Singh (BSP). The BSP-SP-RLD caste arithmetic has favoured the BSP candidate, and this is certainly an upset for Maneka Gandhi. The last-minute exchange in seats with her son Varun Gandhi has not gone down well with local voters. In 2014, Varun Gandhi had won this seat, but his 42.51 percent vote share was lower than the BSP (23.98% + SP 23.63% = 47.61%). The alliance went against the BJP this time, and Congress further cut into BJP votes.
Candidate: Ravi Kishan (BJP); Rambhual Nishad (SP); Madhusudan Tripathi (Cong)
This is an upset. Rambhual Nishad (SP) is winning Gorakhpur. This is a prestige fight for the U.P CM Yogi Adityanath, and he had thrown in his entire party support into this battle, but the caste arithmetic of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance has proved to be on point.
Constituency: Diamond Harbour
Candidate: Abhishek Banerjee (TMC); Nilanjan Roy (BJP); Fuad Halim (CPM)
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee (TMC) is winning this seat, and the biggest factor seems to be the CPI(M). In 2014, Abhishek Banerjee won with a 40.31% vote share, CPI(M) 34.66%, BJP 15.72%. The CPI(M) voters have largely supported TMC as they view TMC the lesser evil compared to BJP. The expected BJP resurgence has not materialized here.