Patna, Nov 6: The exit polls for the Bihar assembly elections are out. There are several exit polls giving the Mahaghatbandan a nose ahead while there is one poll which gives the NDA a clear majority.
While the real picture will be known on November 8th, experts say that Bihar will have a clear winner.
Dr. Sandeep Shastri a leading psephologist who is also the Pro Vice Chancellor, Jain University and National Coordinator, Lokniti Network feels that the Mahaghatbandan may have a slight edge.
In this interview with OneIndia, Dr Shastri says that if the Mahaghatbanda has the edge it is largely to do with the fact that the people were looking at who will lead the government on the ground.
What are your views on the Bihar election results taking into account the the various exit polls that have come out yesterday?
I feel that the Mahaghatbandan has the slight edge. Seems like an indication that with all things equal, the Mahaghatbandan has a slight edge. I would say that the race is very close.
Has the declaration of a CM candidate by the Mahaghatbandan helped them?
An important issue while the people in Bihar voted was who will lead the government. While a lot of people in Bihar do believe that the centre is doing a good job, they have also raised the point that Narendra Modi is not going to be the Chief Minister of Bihar.
When Bihar voted for Modi in the Lok Sabha elections, they did so because they knew he would be the Prime Minister.
It looks like many have voted for Nitish as he was leading on the ground. Many are happy with the way Nitish has led Bihar as its CM.
There are a few people who feel that Lalu Prasad Yadav would lead the government from the back. Do you agree?
If there has been a shift away from the votes for Nitish, then it could be due to this factor. While the Mahaghatbandan has Nitish as its CM candidate it is to be seen how successful they have been in projecting that the government will not be run by Lalu from the back.
Has the Mahaghatbandan and the NDA been able to transfer votes?
This is a very important factor. Has the BJP been able to transfer votes to the allies? Has the Mahaghatbandan been able to do the same? For me the winner in this election is the party which has managed to transfer the votes.
Has the BJP been able to transfer the upper caste votes to its allies? Has RJD and JD(U) been able to transfer votes to each other? These are key factors and hence I say that the race is very close.
Who has had the edge in the urban areas of Bihar?
There will be a divide in votes between the urban and rural areas. It is expected that the BJP will fare better in the urban areas while the Mahaghatbandan in the rural areas.
What about the women's vote?
The women's vote could have gone either way. If the women have voted for a change then it is in favour of the BJP. However Nitish has introduced several welfare schemes for women and if this is a factor then he would have the edge in this sector.
How huge will be the vote share difference?
The vote share difference would be very marginal. The race is close and the vote share too is very close. However the verdict will be very clear. The third front of Bihar has been very marginal.
With regard to the votes of the minorities, they have and will continue to vote only for those who will protect their interests. Their vote would always depend on the candidate in their constituency more than the party.