- BJP to get maximum seats in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh: aggregate of polls
- In Chhattisgarh, Congress will get four of 11 Lok Sabha seats
- Congress had wrested power from BJP last year in the 3 states
The Congress is set for a resounding defeat in the three heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that it wrested from the BJP nearly six months ago, exit polls predicted as the mammoth seven-phase Lok Sabha election came to an end this evening. In all three states, the party will not win more than 13 seats in face of the challange from a deeply entrenched BJP, an aggregate of exit polls predicted.
In Chhattisgarh, where the party had won its most decisive victory in last year's assembly elections, an aggregate of 10 exit polls predict the Congress will get four of the 11 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP will get seven.
In both Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress fell a shade short of majority in last year and formed government with the support of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, the BJP will scoop up the maximum Lok Sabha seats - 22 of 25 in Rajasthan and 23 of 29 in Madhya Pradesh.
Health warning: Exit polls often get it wrong.
Underscoring that, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath tweeted: "We saw all the exit polls in 2004 too, at the time of the five state elections in 2018. Everyone was showing that the Congress losing, but everyone saw the results. Wait for May 23, the reality will emerge. Congress will certainly increase its seats, the truth of BJP's slogans and jumlas will also be exposed."
The assembly poll results in all three states had brought hope and boosted the Congress's position in the opposition camp ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Though Rajasthan is known to vote out the incumbent for nearly three decades, in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has been in power for three terms. The Chief Ministers -- Raman Singh and Shivraj Singh Chauhan -- had been considered among its very popular state leaders.
The results had given Congress the confidence to go it alone in the three states this time as well. Also, its refusal to share seats with Mayawati in the run-up to the assembly elections had hurt its chances for an alliance not just in the three states, but in Uttar Pradesh as well.