Exit polls painted a grim picture for the Congress but party workers remain unfazed, asserting that the results on May 23 would not be onesided as shown projected, and their party would perform better.
Most exit polls Sunday forecast another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with some of them projecting that BJP-led NDA will get more than 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha.
Even as the atmosphere at the Congress headquarters remained sombre Monday morning, party workers rejected the exit polls and said May 23 would give results quite different from the projections.
“The exit polls are an attempt by the BJP to spread rumours and they might try to manipulate EVMs after creating such atmosphere,” said Congress worker Jagdish Sharma.
“We will perform better and win. It would not be onesided as projected. We have seen the real atmosphere at the ground and no one is believing the exit polls except the BJP,” he said.
Neeta Mishra, General Secretary of the Vichar Vibhag at the Congress, said the exit polls might be a strategy of the BJP to create uncertainty and make mahagathbandan join hands with the NDA to claim stake to form the government.
“We are not at all disappointed by the exit polls. We know many people are scared of the BJP and they lied out of fear that they would be voting for the BJP but they voted for others. The technicalities of sampling are not clear. Exit polls have been wrong a number of times and they are biased. No one believes these polls. We are doubtful of the exit polls,” she asserted.
Suresh Singh, a Congress worker from Balia in Uttar Pradesh, questioned the credibility of exit polls.
“There is a wide variation in prediction for various exit polls in UP. For the NDA, some are predicting 22 while others are predicting 52 seats. Here lies the clue to the credibility of the exit polls and their chances of going wrong,” said Singh.
Singh was referring to the divided exit polls prediction for the politically most crucial state of Uttar Pradesh with some like ABP-Nielsen saying that the BJP’s tally may fall to 22 from 71 while a few others like New 18-Ipsos and News 24-Chanakya tipping its tally over 60 seats.
Rishi Vallabh, another party worker who has been with Congress since 1997, called the exit polls a “work of paid media”.
“It is been projected so to boost the morale of the BJP. But reality would be different and would be visible on Thursday, May 23,” Vallabh said.
Exit polls by News 18-Ipsos, India Today-Axis and News 24-Chanakya projected 336, 339-368 and 336-364 seats respectively for the NDA, with the BJP tipped to cross the majority on its own for another term after the 2014 polls.
However, two exit polls — one by ABP News-Nielsen and another by Neta-News X — said the ruling alliance may fall short of a majority. ABP News forecast 267 and NewsX 242 seats for the ruling NDA.
Elections to 542 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha ended Sunday. The Election Commission has deferred election for Vellore in Tamil Nadu over allegations of abuse of money power.
The counting of votes is slated for May 23.