The exit poll predictions on Friday have left the Congress jubilant and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party worried. Exit polls show that the Congress is winning or at least leading in BJP bastions of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The India Today-Axis My India exit poll, with the largest survey sample of all polls, suggests that the Congress is projected to win clear majorities of 119-141 of the 200 seats up for grabs in Rajasthan, and 55-65 seats in the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress and the BJP seem to have fought a close contest.
A poll of exit polls also reflects similar trends.
Reacting to news of a potential defeat for the saffron party, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he knows the pulse of the people of the state. Chouhan said, “I am the biggest surveyor, I know the pulse of people. I travel between them, I meet them. The BJP will win with a thumping majority.”
Exit polls give Congress the thumbs up
If exit polls for five assemblies come true on December 11, the Congress is all set to have its best day in office since May 16, 2014, when it was reduced to 44 MPs in the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress Friday said the polls are clearly suggesting people are endorsing it as an alternative and the BJP is on the back foot. Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot, who is also party’s contender for the top post in Rajasthan, said “The anger was very palpable against the BJP in these elections and people were willing and happy to accept the blueprint given by the Congress. People want answers for questions which they have avoided for the last five years as price rise, farmers in distress, economy is collapsing.”
“It is very easy to see that the BJP is on the back foot in all these five state assembly polls and the Congress is giving an alternative which most people are endorsing and that is the take away from these exit polls,” he said.
My heartfelt gratitude to the people of Rajasthan for the love & support they have given to the Congress.
I would also like to commend all the ranks & files of the Congress party for working tirelessly to create a historic campaign. You people are the real heros. @INCIndia
Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) December 7, 2018
However, Pilot said it would be better to wait for December 11 to see the final results and added people are rejecting their propaganda-driven politics.
Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot also celebrated the results, saying he was sure the Congress had the people’s blessings.
I thank all the voters of #Rajasthan, who participated in the festival of #Democracy.
People from all walks of life voted in large numbers. It was great joy to see their participation.
I am sure voters hv given their ashirvad to Congress. We are forming govt wd blessings of ppl.
Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) December 7, 2018
Don’t underestimate power of Modi, says BJP
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party denied Congress’s claims and said the exit polls have been consistently under-projecting the BJP’s tally in all elections since 2014.
“The Congress can bask in gloat on exit poll results but this happy feeling would be short-lived,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.
National spokesperson of the BJP Sambit Patra also said that PM Modi has proven time and again he has passed exit poll exams.
(with inputs from Hemender Sharma in Bandhavgarh)