At present, the exit poll figures reflect that the reign of the world's biggest democracy might once again fall back into the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Although the South holds a dim picture for the party, India Today-Axis My India exit poll has revealed that out of the total 542 Lok Sabha seats, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party will comfortably win 339-365 seats.
The numbers, however, predict a crisis for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) which may grab only 70 seats. Even the alliance of all the other parties may not win more than a total of 133 Lok Sabha seats.
As the predictions give a boost to the BJP's 'Abki baar, 300 paar' claim, most of the opposition leaders have ridiculed the polls and believe that the exit poll figures are making erroneous claims. Here's how the leaders reacted on exit polls numbers.
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee tweeted that she doesn't trust the exit poll and that people are being manipulated. She added that the game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. She appealed to all the opposition parties to be united, strong and bold and said that they will fight this battle together.
Right after the poll predictions started flowing in, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also tweeted that from electoral bonds and EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, "Modi's Army" and now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission's capitulation before Mr Modi and his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC was used to be feared and respected but not anymore.
N Chandrababu Naidu
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu questioned the exit polls. He tweeted, "Time and again exit polls have failed to catch the people's pulse. Exit polls have proved to be incorrect and far from ground reality in many instances. While undoubtedly TDP government will be formed in AP, we are confident that non-BJP parties will form a non-BJP government at the center."
"I believe the exit polls are all wrong. In Australia last weekend, 56 different exit polls proved wrong. In India many people don’t tell pollsters the truth fearing they might be from the Government. Will wait till 23rd for the real results", said Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.
Congress leader Milind Deora said that he has always refrained from commenting on exit polls and that in his experience, they are usually inconsistent with final results. He added that he patiently waits for the actual results on May 23.
India Today's exit poll shows although Congress won the state assembly election in December 2018, the figures obtained show that its performance has not been up to the mark. Another state where the Congress won in December 2018 was Chhattisgarh. This state too does not have any good news for the Congress.
Political analysist and Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav expressed his disappointment on Congress's failed performance. He tweeted, "The Congress must die. If it could not stop the BJP in this election to save the idea of India, this party has no positive role in Indian history. Today it represents the single biggest obstacle to creation of an alternative."
On BJP's victory, Omar Abdullah said that every single exit poll can’t be wrong. He tweeted, "Time to switch off the TV, log out of social media and wait to see if the world is still spinning on its axis on the 23rd."