SRINAGAR: With exit poll predicting PDP to emerge as single largest parties in Jammu and Kashmir, The political parties in the State are unimpressed by the exit polls and saffron party BJP has not given up hope of forming its government in the Muslim-majority State.
The five phase elections for 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly concluded on December 20 and 66 per cent polling was recorded in the State. The counting of votes will take place on December 23 but the exit polls are out and predicting that the PDP will emerge as single large party followed by BJP. The exit polls have predicted rout of the ruling alliance parties National Conference and Congress.
BJP had for the first time contested almost all the seats in the State Assembly elections and strongly pursued its “Mission 44+” to form next government in the State after the elections.
The BJP was banking on the Modi-wave and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top senior party leaders campaigned in the State – both in Kashmir and Jammu – in favour of their candidates and urged voters to give party a chance to form the government and “see the results”.
The party, according to all the exit polls, is falling much short of the magic figure of 44 seats to form its own government.
However, the saffron party leaders have not given up their hope of forming the first-ever government in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are hopeful that we will form next government in the State,” BJP MP and Incharge J&K Affairs, Avinash Khanna told Express.
When told that the exit polls are predicting that party will fall way short of magical figure of 44 seats, he said, “Exit poll is only a calculation. It may be wrong also”.
Asked whether the party will try to woo winning candidates of other parties to form government, Khanna said, “BJP does not believe in horse-trading”.
On post-poll alliance partners, he said, “At this point of time, we are not thinking on those terms”.
“The results on December 23 will spring many surprises,” he added.
Ruling National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar has rejected the exit polls saying the results on December 23 will throw surprises.
“We have seen that exit polls cannot be trusted,” he said citing the example of Delhi elections where exit polls had predicted only three seats for Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has also questioned the credibility of the exit polls.
J&K Congress spokesperson Salman Nizami also rejected the exit polls saying actual results can only be known on December 23, when counting will be held.
Stating that exit polls cannot be trusted, he said, no agency has gone to the rural areas of the state to know the peoples’ choice there.
He said Congress will play a key role in formation of next government in the State. “Our party will explore options of forging post-poll ties with either National Conference or PDP depending on number of seats the parties get,” .