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Opp trashes exit polls, claim ‘attempt to justify rigging’

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New Delhi, June 2: The Congress and other INDIA bloc parties on Sunday trashed the exit polls that have predicted a third consecutive win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, claiming that these surveys were a work of “fantasy” and asserting that the opposition alliance will form the next government.
Questioning the credibility of the exit polls, the leaders of major opposition parties alleged that they were conducted at the behest of the government as a “deliberate attempt to justify rigging of elections” and were part of PM Modi’s “mind games” to lower the morale of the INDIA bloc workers ahead of counting of votes on June 4.
“This is not called an exit poll but its name is ‘Modi media poll’. This is Modi ji’s poll, it is his fantasy poll,” former Congress president Rahul Gandhi told reporters at the AICC headquarters here.
Asked how many seats the INDIA bloc would get, Gandhi said, “Have you heard (popular singer) Sidhu Moosewala’s song ‘295’? So 295 (seats).” The BJP hit back, saying Gandhi has been living in a “fantasy world” since childhood and is cut off from the ground reality.
“He believes everything to be a fantasy. It is his fantasy that made Congress lose the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This time, they are going to score a hattrick of losing Lok Sabha elections and that is why they are talking nonsense,” BJP national spokesperson Prem Shukla said.
“The exit poll is a reality poll and indicates that people have shown faith in the leader who has worked for them in the last 10 years,” BJP leader Shaina NC said.
However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed the exit poll predictions were not consistent with the ground reality and alleged that they were “manufactured at home” two months back.
“We had seen how the exit polls were conducted in 2016, 2019 and 2021. None of the predictions had turned out to be true…. these exit polls were manufactured at home by some people two months back for media consumption. They have no value,” the Trinamool Congress chief told a TV channel.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, JMM leader and Jharkhand CM Champai Soren, BJD leader VK Pandian, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut were among those who questioned the reliability of the exit polls.
“Today’s pro-BJP exit poll was prepared many months ago, the channels just aired it now. People’s public opinion is being deceived through this exit poll,” Yadav said in a post on X.
These are political exit polls and not professional exit polls, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said and claimed it will be a repeat of 2004, when exit polls predicted BJP victory but the Congress formed the government.
He alleged that the exit polls that came out Saturday evening are “completely bogus” and have been “orchestrated and masterminded by the man whose exit is inevitable and guaranteed on June 4”.
“These are all part of the psychological games being played by the outgoing prime minister (Narendra Modi) and the outgoing home minister (Amit Shah),” he said.
Exit polls on Saturday predicted that Prime Minister Modi will retain power for a third straight term, with the BJP-led NDA expected to win a big majority in the Lok Sabha polls.
“This is a deliberate attempt to justify rigging, this is a deliberate attempt to justify the manipulation of EVMs… we are not going to be intimidated and you will see that the actual results on June 4 will be completely different from what these exit polls show,” the Congress general secretary said.
Kejriwal said that the BJP will not form the next government at the Centre, saying the exit polls were “fake” and “mind games” by the BJP.
“Yesterday, exit polls were out and I can give you in writing that they are fake,” the AAP chief said addressing party workers before he surrendered in a case related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam following the expiry of his interim bail.
“They are not forming a government on June 4. These exit polls are mind games to drive you into depression,” Kejriwal told AAP workers and leaders.
The ruling BJD in Odisha, which is not part of the INDIA bloc and is also predicted to lose ground to the BJP, rejected the exit polls, saying they have proved to be wrong in the 2014 and 2019 elections and the trend would continue this time as well.
“We are well poised to retain power in the state with a two-thirds majority in the assembly. Like in 2014 and 2019, this time as well the exit polls will be proved wrong,” BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said.
“We expect to win at least 12 Lok Sabha seats and 110 seats in the assembly… we will form a strong and stable government in the state,” he said.
Senior BJD leader V K Pandian said in a post on X, “Everybody has seen how inaccurate exit polls made by some national level organisations in air-conditioned rooms are. The exit polls of 2024 will just be a repeat of the previous exit polls.” However, Union minister Ramdas Athawale said the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will get more Lok Sabha seats than predicted by the exit polls.
Athawale said the exit polls have predicted the NDA will win 350 to 375 seats, but the BJP-led alliance will get more seats.
“In Maharashtra, the ruling Mahayuti will win 35 to 40 seats (out of 48), and in the country, the NDA will get more than 400 seats,” said the Republican Party of India (A) chief, whose party is a constituent of the NDA.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut decried the exit polls as a “corporate game and a fraud”.
Raut also said they do not require the exit polls as they work on the field and know the “undercurrent”.
“The Shiv Sena will maintain its 2019 tally of 18 seats and the Congress and NCP will also do well. (NCP-SP Lok Sabha member) Supriya Sule will win in Baramati by more than 1.5 lakh votes and the Congress will deliver its best performance,” he said.
BRS leader and former Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also downplayed the exit polls, saying whatever the outcome, the party will work for the people.
Rao, also known as KCR, said the BRS’ defeat in the recent assembly polls was a temporary setback.
Several exit poll predictions indicated that there would be a tough fight between the Congress and the BJP while the BRS, which is not part of the opposition alliance, would be marginalised in the recently held Lok Sabha elections. Telangana has 17 Lok Sabha seats.
The ruling Left in Kerala termed the predictions as “suspicious” and “politically motivated”.
LDF convener and veteran CPI(M) leader E P Jayarajan said the exit poll predictions were not arrived at through some scientific findings or experiments. (PTI)

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