The exit polls that predicted a comfortable win for the BJP-led NDA were met with suspicious eyes by leaders of Opposition parties, with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee calling it a “game plan to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through gossip.”
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.
In West Bengal, Mamata’s Trinamool Congress is predicted to lose seats with the BJP making inroads in the Eastern state. Republic Bharat-Jan ki Baat has predicted 18-26 seats for the BJP, and 28 for the ruling TMC. In the previous Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC had won 34 seats with a vote share of 39.8 per cent. BJP bagged only 2 seats.
Discrediting the predictions of the exit polls, Mamata said: “I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together.”
I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 19, 2019
Party leader Derek O’Brien hinted at EVM manipulation over the poll prediction in favour of the BJP and said the “so-called exit polls will only confuse” the people and that one should wait for the final results on May 23.
“Have ‘Delhi media’ who masquerade as ‘national media’ lost their credentials and credibility? So-called Exit Polls will only confuse. We await the verdict of the people. Modi ji had called the number 300+ even before Phase 7. Are these numbers to match that? EVM manipulation?” he tweeted.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh rejected the exit polls, saying their accuracy was ‘suspect’. “With so much experience, even if I go around Punjab to gauge the voter swinge, I would not be able to do it with complete accuracy. So how can these polls be accurate,” ANI quoted him as saying.
However, Congress ally and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said every single exit poll cannot be wrong. “Time to switch off the TV, log out of social media & wait to see if the world is still spinning on its axis on the 23rd (May),” he tweeted.
Vice-President M Venkaiah mocked at the exit polls, saying they were not exact polls. “Exit polls do not mean exact polls. We have to
understand that. Since 1999, most of the exit polls have gone wrong,” the Vice-President pointed out.
Naidu addressed an informal meeting of well-wishers, who felicitated him in Guntur. Referring to the ongoing general elections, he said every party exuded confidence (over victory). “Everyone exhibits his own confidence till the 23rd (day of counting). There will be no base for it. So we have to wait for 23rd,” he remarked.