West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday dismissed exit polls as “gossip” and urged Opposition parties to be “united, strong and bold”. She made the remark in a tweet soon after most exit polls predicted a comfortable majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in the Lok Sabha elections that concluded on Sunday.
“I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip,” the Trinamool Congress chief said. “The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs [electronic voting machines] through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together.”
The exit polls showed that the Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to lose seats in comparison to the 282 it managed alone in 2014, but its coalition will have enough to cross the majority mark of 272. The Congress will gain in its tally, but will be far short of what it would need to form a government, the forecasts showed.
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is likely to get more seats than the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition, according to the exit polls. Times Now-VMR predicted 28 seats for the TMC and 11 for the NDA, while Jan Ki Baat gave 13 to 21 seats to the Trinamool and 18 to 26 seats to the NDA. CVoter has forecast 11 seats for the NDA and 29 for the Trinamool Congress.
Another exit poll, by India Today-Axis My India, predicted 21 seats each for the Trinamool and the BJP. The state has 42 constituencies.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted: “Every single exit poll can’t 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.”
The votes cast in the seven-phase elections will be counted on May 23.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said in a video clip that exit polls cannot be accurate, IANS reported. He said the Congress will do much better than predicted.