Elections in India in contemporary times have become a showcase of pro-incumbency verdicts.
This was revealed by an IANS analysis of ABP-CVoter Exit Poll for the Assembly elections held in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, with the findings showing BJP retaining power in both the states.
In Himachal Pradesh, the Congress put up a spirited challenge while it was a lacklustre show in Gujarat for the Grand Old Party.
The incumbent government in Himachal is usually voted out during Assembly elections. But it doesn't seem to be the case this time.
In Gujarat, the BJP looks set to tide over 27 years of accumulated anti-incumbency and anger.
Something similar was seen in Uttarakhand and Goa during the Assembly elections held earlier this year.
The BJP faced severe anti-incumbency sentiments after 10 years of rule in Goa. Yet, it won the elections comfortably, leaving the Congress way behind.
The prospects of Congress regaining power in Uttarakhand were even brighter. The BJP had changed three Chief Ministers in six months in the run-up to the elections, and the Congress had a popular local leader in Harish Rawat. Yet, it failed to dislodge the BJP.
Even in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP defied all odds when Yogi Adityanath won a second consecutive term in 2022.
The recent exit poll findings revealed a similar trend across India where incumbent parties get re-elected despite the seeming anti-incumbency factor.
CVoter had forecast a very narrow win for the Nitish Kumar-led NDA in Bihar in 2020. It happened. Exactly the same happened in West Bengal in 2021, where Mamata Bannerjee-led Trinamool Congress swept to power for a third straight term.
The most surprising verdict came from Kerala where sitting CPI (M) Chief Minister Pinnari Vijayan defied history to win a second consecutive term in 2021.
The latest exit poll offers food for thought for political analysts who seem to give more importance to anti-incumbency.