Meeting the fate of 2004 in more or less the same manner, the exit polls conducted by various TV news channels have once again gone wrong, which had a predicted UPA slightly ahead of its rival NDA in the projected hung parliament.
The UPA actually garnered somewhere around 260 seats with the Congress crossing 200 marks in more than two decades time. The NDA could barely manage nearly 158 seats thus the difference between the two being a whopping 100. The BJP has to satisfy itself with 122 seats or so.
It should be mentioned that the exit polls gave the UPA 185 to 205 seats and the NDA 142 to 198 while predicting as many as 110 to 130 seats for the Third Front, which, as trends reveal, may not cross even half of that. The Third Front could win just 76 seats.
The predictions for the UPA did not include the projections for the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), of 25 to 35 seats. The trends show that they can add up to 27.
The RJD and LJP have been saying they are part of the UPA coalition but contested independently of the Congress, while the Samajwadi Party joined them in what was termed the Fourth Front.
In the Third Front, exit polls gave some 38 seats to the Left, which actually won even less number of 26 seats.
The exit polls had been wide off the mark even in the 2004 elections. Nearly all of them predicted an NDA victory by a wide margin, but the Bharatiya Janata Party-led grouping lost to a rejuvenated Congress.