Modi hit but poised to return to power: exit poll

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New Delhi, Dec 16 (UNI) Narendra Modi-led BJP is poised to make a hat-trick in the 2007 Gujarat Assembly polls but with a reduced majority in the 182-member House, an exit poll said today.

Star News-Nielsen exit poll said that the BJP is likely to get 103 seats, registering a loss of 25 seats while the Congress would get 76 which is 25 seats more than what it had got in the 2002 polls.

Out of the 95 seats in riot-affected Central and North Gujarat which went to the polls today, the BJP would get 55, the Congress 39 and others 1, the TV projections said.

The BJP would get 50 per cent of the vote, the projections said.

Around 60 per cent turnout was recorded in the first phase while a heavy turnout of over 40 per cent till this afternoon marked today's polling.

After the first phase polling, both Star TV and Zee news had put BJP slightly ahead of Congress giving it 48 seats, while NDTV gave Congress 4 seats more than the BJP.

The Congress according to NDTV was expected to corner 44 seats, the BJP 40 and Independent and others 3 seats in the first phase.

According to Star news, the Congress is expected to get 37 seats and Independents and others two. The same was the result of the Zee News exit poll after the first round of voting.

The exit polls had said the saffron party is poised to get 115 seats in the 182 assembly, losing 12 seats. The Congress is likely to get 64 seats, gaining as many as 30 seats while Independents and others are likely to secure three seats. The BJP is thus poised to return to power in the western state, though with a reduced majority, Star News said.

Votes will be counted on December 23 in the state.

UNI

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