PM, other BJP bigwigs to address Goa rallies

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi also announced that voter facilitation posters will be displayed at every polling booth, including voting procedure, dos and don'ts, etc.

Other parties in the state such as the Rashtriya Lok Dal, Apna Dal, the Left might end up winning 7-11 seats.

The ruling Samajwadi Party (in its current avatar) is projected to emerge as the second largest party, bagging between 92-97 seats.

Opinion polls were divided on the outcome of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, with India Today-Axis predicting a big victory for the BJP in the country's politically important state.

Despite their loss in vote share, Akhilesh Yadav remains a rather popular candidate for chief minister among the people since 33 per cent of those surveyed wanted him back at the helm of affairs.

The BJP, which won 21 seats in the 40-member Goa assembly in the 2012 polls, faces a challenge from the Congress, debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and a three-party alliance between Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) rebel Subhash Vekingkar's Goa Suraksha Manch, Shiv Sena and Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP).

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Mayavathi's BSP is likely to win 79-85 seats and remain a close third. The BSP might not get the support of the upper castes this time.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's high-voltage campaign and strategist Prashant Kishor's electoral planning seems to have made little to no difference to the party's fortunes.

BJP leader Nalin Kohli said it is extremely unfortunate that the vehicle of development in Uttar Pradesh has stalled in the last five years. It is also likely to damage the campaign spending of the BJP's political rivals, he said. The ruling Samajwadi party is a different story altogether since it is yet to stabilize its campaign fighting internal crisis it is dealing with now.

The UP polls are being seen as a test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity after his controversial move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

The raft of state polls will be the first political test following Modi's overnight move on November outlaw higher denomination bank notes and invalidate 86 percent of India's circulated currency.

  • Megan Austin