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Exit polls: BJP emerges top in both Maharashtra, Haryana but no clear majority

Mumbai: Barely half an hour after voting ended in Maharashtra and Haryana, exit polls predicted a decisive edge for the BJP in the two states.

The party is expected to trounce main rival the Congress which is battling serious charges of corruption in these two states. 

The Times Now-C Voter poll gave BJP 129 seats in the 288-strong Maharashtra Assembly. Congress is predicted to win 43, Shiv Sena 56, NCP 36, MNS 2 and others 12.

In Haryana's 90-member Assembly, BJP is predicted to get 37, the Congress 4, INLD 28 and HJC 6.

The ABP-Nielsen poll runs the same story. In Maharashtra, it predicts 127 for BJP, 77 for Shiv Sena, 40 for Congress, 34 for NCP and 5 for MNS.

For Haryana, BJP got an outright majority. However those were exit poll numbers based on data gathered till 3pm. BJP 46, Congress 10, INLD 29, HJC 2, others 3.

Since the magic number is 144, BJP might need some help to come to power in Maharashtra -- from former ally Shiv Sena?

The Chanakya poll for Maharashtra predicted BJP with 151, Shiv Sena 71, Congress 27, NCP 28 MNS 2, others 13.

In Haryana the poll showed BJP will get 52 seats, Congress 10, INLD 23, others 5.

Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections are being seen as the first major test of PM Narendra Modi's popularity after the Lok Sabha polls.

Maharashtra witnessed a five-cornered contest for the 288-member House. An electorate of about 8.25 crore chose from 4,119 candidates in the fray, including 1,699 Independents.

While Congress fielded the largest number of 287 candidates, BJP put up 280, Shiv Sena 282, NCP 278 and MNS 219.

With long-standing political alliances crumbling, the poll will test the mettle of four major parties -- Congress, NCP, BJP and Shiv Sena individually, with Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena trying to emerge as the X factor in the keenly watched contest. The Congress-NCP combine has ruled been ruling the state for 15 years.

Haryana also witnessed a high pitched campaign by Modi with an aim of bringing BJP to power in the state on its own for the first time. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is hoping for a third term for the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in the state.

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