Mizoram seems fated for a hung house, with exit polls predicting that the Mizo National Front (MNF) will trump the ruling Congress by a slim margin but fall short of the majority mark of 21 in the 40-member state assembly.
An aggregate of the exit polls predictions showed the MNF notching 18 seats, the Congress 16 and the others six, while not giving the fledgling BJP even a single win. The MNF and Congress contested from all the 40 seats in the state, and an optimistic BJP fought in 39.
While the Times Now-CNX survey predicted 16 seats for the Congress, 18 for MNF and six for others, the India Today-Axis My India pre-poll exercise accorded between 8-12 to the Congress, 16-22 to the MNF and 9-16 for others. The Republic TV-C Voter exercise, on the other hand, predicted anywhere between 14-18 seats for the Congress, 16-20 for the MNF and 3-10 for others. All the three agreed on just one thing: The BJP isn't getting lucky this time.
Although the MNF is an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, the two decided to fight the state assembly elections separately. "That happened because we are Christians, and they want to promote the Hindutva. We have different ideologies," Zoramthanga, the regional party chief, had earlier told news agency PTI in an interview.
The BJP and the Congress had faced off in the run-up to the elections, with both sides swapping accusations and making wild claims. While BJP president Amit Shah claimed that his party will conquer the last bastion in the northeast by winning Mizoram, Congress leader Lal Thanhawla accused the former of using money and "RSS ideology" to buy votes.
The results for the Mizoram assembly election will be declared on December 11, along with Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.