With polling in the world's largest democracy coming to an end on Sunday with the conclusion of the seventh and final round of voting in the general elections, 1.3 billion citizens of India including an estimated 900 million-strong electorate now await vote-counting on May 23 when the identities of 542 (the Vellore polls were countermanded) newly elected members to the lower house of India's Parliament will be revealed, and consequently, the process of forming the next government of India will enter its final stage. Ahead of what promises to be a thrilling May 23, Republic Media Network has broadcast the country's biggest exit poll - the double exit poll in collaboration with the nation's biggest pollsters Jan Ki Baat and CVoter - which presents a projection of what to expect on counting day, including granular projections from each of the states and union territories.
In Meghalaya, the battle is set between the NDA alliance and the UPA alliance for the 2 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs, which polled in a single poll phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 11.
In terms of seats, the NDA and UPA are each predicted to win 1 seat.
NDA: 1 seat
UPA: 1 seat
The 'Others' are projected to lead the pack garnering 66.1% of the votes. The UPA is projected to follow with 30.6% of the votes, while the NDA is projected to trail with a mere 3.3% of the votes.
In terms of seats, the NDA ally NPP is projected to win no seats, while the UPA is projected to win 2 seats.
UPA: 2 seats
NDA (NPP): 0 seats
In the 2014 General elections, Meghalaya had a voter turnout of 68.8% in all phases, in which the NDA ally -NPP which is a part of the North East Regional Political Front (NPEP) won 1 seat, while the UPA won 1 seat.
The last two Assembly elections (60 seats) are seen to follow an increasing trend for the NPP as it increased its win from 2 to 19 seats during 2018 under the leadership of the Conrad Sangma-led NPP. In a jolt to Congress, the Meghalaya governor had called NPP to form the government as both UPA and NDA had 21 seats each. While the voter turnout remained constant at 87.7%, the Congress diminished its foothold as its seat share fell from 29 seats to 21 seats in 2018 as the saffron party formed an alliance with NPEP to form the government.
In 2019, Assam has witnessed an average voter turnout of 71.32% in its single poll phase.
Key battles in Meghalaya:
Shillong: The battle centers around the key issue of Mining as many mishaps regarding mining have occurred in the state. BJP's Sanbor Shullai will face Congress' Vincent H Pala and UDP's Jemino Mawthoh.
Tura: Here the ruling NPP MP Agatha Sangma faces Congress' Mukul Sangma and BJP's Rikman G Momin. Same issues of mining plague this constituency as current CM Conrad Sangma has repeatedly targetted his rival Mukul Sangma for being sluggish in banning mining in the state.
Recent political developments:
In January, the state was under major fire when the National Green Tribunal imposed a fine of whopping Rs 100 crore on the Meghalaya government for failing to curb illegal coal mining in the state after the incident where at least 15 miners were trapped in the 370 foot-deep illegal coal mine in Lumthari village of East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya since December 13 and all efforts to pump the water out of flooded mine have been in vain.
On a national scale:
The 2019 elections saw high-octane electric campaigning from both sides as the BJP went hammer and tongs, expressing confidence at each turn that it would not only repeat but also better its tally of 282 votes from five years earlier, whereas the Congress and other Opposition parties, also campaigned heavily though without being able to make any convincing show of unity. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a second term in the Parliament, addressed a total of 144 rallies and roadshows this election season, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed 125 rallies in the 2019 polls.
A number of Republic Media Network newsbreaks especially set the agenda for the polls, including the first interview of the Prime Minister's election campaign to Republic's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and his final campaign interview to Executive Editor Abhishek Kapoor. Alongside these were the sensational #MPsOnSale sting on sitting MPs who showed themselves willing to compromise the interests of those whom they claim to represent, the Operation Karz Maafi sting that exposed the falsehood in the Congress' farm loan-waiver promise, and numerous others.
The vote counting for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be held on May 23. Join Arnab on Republic Media Network for non-stop coverage of the sensational conclusion to the general elections here.