Congress state leaders confident of much better returns for party than projected in exit polls

The assertion was made at an online interaction Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh had before the media with key state leaders, PCC presidents and legislature party leaders of various states.
Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Supriya Shrinate during a press conference at AICC HQ. in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Supriya Shrinate during a press conference at AICC HQ. in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Photo| PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Congress leaders on Sunday exuded confidence that the party will do much better than what was projected in the exit polls in states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, and asserted the INDIA bloc is going to form the next government.

The assertion was made at an online interaction Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh had before the media with key state leaders, PCC presidents and legislature party leaders of various states.

During his zoom call interaction with Ramesh, Assam Congress chief Bhupen Borah said that his party would win at least seven seats in the state.

He said that alleged internal squabbling in the BJP and the impact of the INDIA bloc had benefitted the Congress.

Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Supriya Shrinate during a press conference at AICC HQ. in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
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Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa said all the surveys have given 7-9 seats to the Congress.

"We are ahead on 9 seats, 1 seat will go to the AAP and 3 seats will be won by the candidates who will not in any way help the NDA or PM. The INDIA alliance will get a minimum of 10 seats...In Punjab, the NDA is not going to get even a single seat," he said.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said the Congress has an edge on two parliamentary seats and is in a tight contest on the two other seats in the hill state.

He exuded confidence that the Congress was also winning the six assembly seats where the bypolls have taken place.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said that his party would win at least two-third of the 28 seats on the back of the popularity of the guarantees the Congress fulfilled after coming to power in the state.

Bihar Congress chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh said that his party would definitely win 6-7 seats out of 9 seats it contested in the state.

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole, Haryana state unit chief Udai Bhan, Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra and Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajai Rai also spoke during the interaction and exuded confidence of a much better performance in their respective states than the projections made in the exit polls.

The unusual interaction before the media came a day after the Exit polls on Saturday predicted that Prime Minister Modi will retain power for a third straight term, with the BJP-led NDA expected to win a big majority in the Lok Sabha polls.

While India Today-Axis My India has forecast 361-401 seats for the BJP-led alliance and 131-166 seats for the opposition INDIA bloc in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the ABP-C Voter predicted 353-383 seats for the ruling alliance and 152-182 seats for the INDIA bloc.

All the state leaders, who spoke at the virtual interaction, debunked the exit polls as part of a psychological game being played by the BJP to "reduce the morale of the Congress workers".

Slamming the exit polls, Ramesh said the exit polls were "completely bogus" and a "deliberate attempt" to justify rigging of the elections.

He said they were part of "psychological games" being played by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lower the morale of the INDIA bloc workers.

The results of the Lok Sabha elections will be declared on June 4.

Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Supriya Shrinate during a press conference at AICC HQ. in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
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