The Congress on Sunday dismissed recent exit polls as “bogus,” accusing them of being a calculated attempt to justify election rigging and psychological warfare aimed at demoralising the I.N.D.I.A. bloc workers. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, when asked about the expected seats for the I.N.D.I.A. bloc, referenced a popular song, saying, “Have you heard Sidhu Moose Wala‘s song ‘295’? So 295 (seats).”

He criticised the polls, dubbing them “Modi media polls.” “This is not an exit poll but a ‘Modi media poll.’ This is Modi ji’s poll, it is his fantasy poll,” Gandhi stated at the AICC headquarters after a video conference with the party’s Lok Sabha MPs.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, speaking before his surrender to Tihar jail, also lambasted the exit polls. He said, “Exit polls came out yesterday, and I can tell you that all exit polls are fake. One exit poll gave the BJP 33 seats out of a total of 25 in Rajasthan. Someone must have instructed to give more seats to the BJP, and they went overboard, giving them 33 out of 25 seats. The entire exit poll is fake. The real issue is why they needed to conduct a fake exit poll three days before the counting…”

Kejriwal urged counting agents to remain vigilant, especially during the final stages of vote tallying, to expose any EVM manipulation.

“They have rigged the machines, but I have also spoken to Sandeep Pathak and want to tell I.N.D.I.A. parties to instruct their counting agents to be fully alert. Even if we are losing in the final rounds, they should not leave. Often, after losing in the first, second, and third rounds, agents walk away, but they should not leave. At the very end, the slips from the EVM machines of random booths are taken out, and a random 5% of these slips are matched with the VVPAT slips. VVPAT slip counting and EVM checking happen. If even one machine does not match, the election there is cancelled. If you conduct this check, we can expose the EVM rigging,” he remarked.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh criticised Prime Minister Modi for his extensive meetings, including a brainstorming session on the new government’s 100-day agenda. “These are mind games to send a signal to the bureaucracy and administrative structure that he is coming back,” Ramesh told news agency PTI at the AICC headquarters. He expressed hope that civil servants would not be intimidated by these pressure tactics. 

Ramesh further alleged that the exit polls released on Saturday, predicting a decisive victory for the BJP-led NDA, were orchestrated. “These are part of the psychological games played by the outgoing prime minister and home minister,” he claimed.

According to the exit polls, the BJP-led alliance is expected to secure a substantial majority, with ABP-C Voter predicting 353-383 seats for the NDA and India Today-Axis My India forecasting 361-401 seats. ALSO READ | Lok Sabha Poll Of Exit Polls: BJP-Led NDA May Witness Landslide Victory Against I.N.D.I.A, But What About ‘400 Paar’?

Ramesh also pointed out discrepancies in the exit poll results, stating, “In some states, the NDA has been given more seats than the number of seats available.” He asserted that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc would secure no less than 295 seats, based on state-wise analysis. “This is a deliberate attempt to justify rigging and manipulation of EVMs,” the senior Congress leader said, as quoted by PTI.

Ramesh reiterated his belief that the actual results would starkly contrast with the exit polls. “These are political exit polls and not professional exit polls,” he added.

‘Basis Of Exit Poll Is Not EVM But DM’: Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday raised concerns about the authenticity of exit polls, asserting that the opposition had previously claimed that pro-BJP media would depict the ruling party as securing over 300 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Yadav alleged that the exit polls, which were allegedly prepared months in advance and are only being broadcast on TV channels now, could pave the way for fraud. He further claimed that the BJP aimed to leverage these exit polls to gain an advantage in the share market when it opens on Monday, adding that the “disappointed faces of BJP leaders are telling the truth”.

“Understand the chronology of the exit poll,” Yadav posted on X. “The opposition had already said that pro-BJP media would show the BJP crossing 300 seats that would create the scope for fraud. Today’s pro-BJP exit poll was prepared many months ago; the channels just aired it now. People’s public opinion is being deceived through this exit poll.”

He continued, “Based on this exit poll, BJP wants to benefit from the share market which opens on Monday. If these exit polls were not false and BJP was not losing, then BJP would not have blamed its own people. The disappointed faces of BJP leaders are showing the truth.”

Insisting that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc was winning the Lok Sabha polls, Yadav called on candidates and their poll agents to closely monitor the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) on counting day. He underscored the importance of vigilance, saying, “All the workers, office bearers and candidates of the INDIA bloc should not make even one per cent mistake in monitoring the EVMs.”

Yadav also remarked on the BJP leaders’ realisation that “the result of the whole country cannot be changed like the Chandigarh mayoral election” due to the heightened alertness of the opposition and the peak of public anger.

“Corrupt officials who are in cahoots with BJP are also not able to muster the courage to rig the elections after seeing an active Supreme Court, and they also do not want to become a victim of public anger,” he added.

In a separate tweet, Yadav emphasised, “The basis of exit poll is not EVM but the DM. Administration should remember that there is no greater force than people’s power.”

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut Calls Exit Polls ‘Corporate Game’ And ‘Fraud’

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut also criticised exit polls, labelling them a “corporate game” and “fraud,” while asserting that the opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc would secure a decisive victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Raut claimed, “There is a lot of pressure on these media companies. The exit poll exercise is a corporate game and a fraud. Do these companies conduct exit polls for free?”, PTI reported

Raut confidently predicted that the opposition I.N.D.I.A. alliance would win between 295 to 310 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, forming the next government. “We don’t require exit polls; we are working on the field and understand the undercurrent,” he added.

Elaborating on the alliance’s prospects, Raut stated, “This is not an exit poll but figures taken through a people’s poll.” He forecasted substantial gains for the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra, which includes the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress, and Sharad Pawar’s NCP (SP). According to Raut, the MVA would win over 35 of Maharashtra’s 48 seats, with the Shiv Sena maintaining its 2019 tally of 18 seats. He also predicted a robust performance for Congress and NCP, specifically highlighting NCP MP Supriya Sule’s anticipated victory in Baramati by over 1.5 lakh votes.

Raut expressed optimism about the alliance’s performance in key states, asserting, “Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka will bring a change in the country along with Maharashtra.” He projected the I.N.D.I.A. bloc to secure 35 of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 seats and 16 of Bihar’s 40 seats, the latter attributed to the Rashtriya Janata Dal led by Lalu Prasad.

The counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls is scheduled for Tuesday. Several exit polls aired on Saturday evening have predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP-led NDA.

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