SRINAGAR: Eventhough exit polls have predicted that the PDP would emerge as the single largest party in Jammu and Kashmir, other political parties here seems unimpressed. This is especially true of the BJP which is yet to give up on its hope of forming its own government in the Muslim-majority state.
The five phase elections to the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly concluded on December 20 and 66 per cent polling was recorded in the state.
The counting of votes would take place on December 23 but exit polls are already out predicting that the PDP would emerge as the single largest party, followed by the BJP. The exit polls have predicted rout of the ruling alliance -- the National Conference and the Congress.
The BJP had for the first time contested almost all seats in the state Assembly elections and strongly pursued its “Mission 44+” to form the next government.
The BJP is banking on the Modi-wave and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior party leaders had campaigned all across the state urging voters to give the party a chance to form the government and “see the results”.
However, despite all this, the exit polls have predicted that the party would fall way short of the magic figure of 44 seats, required to form its own government.
However, the leaders have not given up hope. “We are hopeful that we will form the next government in the state,” BJP MP and Incharge of J&K affairs, Avinash Khanna told Express.
When told about the exit poll predictions, he said, “Exit polls are only calculations. It can be wrong too.”
Asked whether the party will try to woo winning candidates from other parties to form the government, Khanna said, “The BJP does not believe in horse-trading.”
And on post-poll alliance partners, he said, “At this point of time, we are not thinking on those lines”.
According to him, the results on December 23 would spring many surprises.
Ruling National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar too rejected the exit poll results saying that the actual results on December 23 would throw many 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.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also questioned the credibility of exit polls.
J&K Congress spokesperson Salman Nizami too rejected the exit polls and said that actual results could only be known on December 23, after the counting.
Stating that exit polls cannot be trusted, he said that no agency has gone to the rural areas of the state to know the peoples’ choice.