In India's Uttar Pradesh, polling for the seven-phased state elections came to an end on Monday after a hectic few weeks of rigourous campaigning by the BJP, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, the Congress, Mayawati's BSP and Arvind Kejriwal's AAP that made a debut this time. The BJP is eyeing to retain the state for a second straight term while it's yet to be seen if either Akhilesh Yadav or Mayawati can return to power. Most exit polls, however, predict an easy win for the ruling party. The BSP and the Congress are projected to win less than 50 seats in the 403-member assembly.
Here are the top updates on UP exit polls with a health warning (exit polls often get it wrong):
1) In large parts of the state, the BJP is convincingly ahead, as per India Today-Axis My India exit polls. The ruling party is likely to get somewhere between 288-326 seats, and the Samajwadi Party is expected to win 71-101 seats. The BSP (3-9 seats) and the Congress (1-3 seats) are down to single digits.
2) According to Republic-P MARQ surgvey, the BJP is set to win 240 of 403 seats ( it won over 300 seats in the 2017 elections). The Samajwadi Party is projected to win 140 seats.
3) The Times Now-Veto 2022 poll says the BJP will win 225 seats, the Samajwadi Party is set to win 151 seats.
4) With 14 seats, the BSP is set for another dismal performance while the Congress is likely to win 9 seats, the Times Now-Veto 2022 polls.
5) In the 2017 polls, the BJP had won over 300 seats in the 403-member assembly. Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party-Congress combine had won 55 seats while Mayawati's BSP had managed to get just 19 seats.
6) In 2012, however, Akhilesh Yadav had alone managed to win 224 seats.
7) The UP assembly election also saw several firsts with Akhilkesh Yadav contesting his maiden state election from family stronghold of Mainpuri. Arvind Kejriwal's AAP also fought the UP election for the first time, trying to expand the national footprint.
8) The Congress, after a dismal performance in several elections in the last few years, has not announced a chief minister face. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had been leading the poll campaign, attacking the BJP over various national and local issues.
9) Some of the top issues that have dominated this election season in Uttar Pradesh are the minimum support price for farm produce, employment for youth, farmers' killing in Lakhimpur - where Union minster Ajay Mishra's son, Ashish, is an accused.
10) Votes will be counted for the UP elections 2022 on Thursday- 10 March.