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Exit polls: BJP celebrates, opposition plans on taking on EVMs

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, May 21: The BJP reacted with jubilation at the exit polls, which forecast a return of the NDA government, saying that they show a huge positive vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but opposition parties rejected the forecast.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she does not trust "exit poll gossip" while the Congress dismissed the projections as ridiculous, claiming that silent voters will speak in the opposition's favor when votes are counted on May 23.

Exit polls: BJP celebrates, opposition plans on taking on EVMs

BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said people have rewarded Modi's good governance.

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"The exit polls clearly show a huge positive vote for the leadership of Narendra Modi who has served the country with unmatched dedication. That people reward good performance has once again been proved by the overwhelming public mandate. This is a slap for the abusive opposition that made baseless charges and spoke lies," he said.

Shashi Tharoor of the Congress claimed that exit polls are all wrong and cited the Australian polls, where various surveys proved wrong, to make his point.

"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," the Kerala MP tweeted.

Trinamool Congress chief Banerjee also rejected the exit polls.

"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," she tweeted.

Most exit polls have forecast a gain for the BJP in West Bengal, even though her party may still win more seats.

However, Congress ally and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said every exit poll cannot be wrong.

"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," he said.

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Replying to him, Tharoor tweeted, "Actually they CAN all be wrong, as Australia (a much smaller and less diverse country than India) showed us last weekend. But you're right that we are all better off waiting for the 23rd than wasting our time in empty debate about these imaginary numbers."

Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said silent voters will be king on May 23.

"The silent voter will be king on May 23 rd 2019. The 'fear factor' playing havoc with respondents to pollsters in an ugly polarized election. Ridiculous #ExitPolls, almost laughable. UPA > NDA when the real counting happens," Jha said.

CPI's D Raja played down the forecasts, saying they are merely trends.

"These are exit polls. These are merely trends. We will have to wait and see the real results. We have seen in the past that these results are merely surveys and have sometimes proved right and sometimes wrong. We have to see the real results," he said.

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