Rahul would rather wait for D-day, dismisses exit polls as 'Modi media poll'

Asked how many seats INDIA bloc will get, Rahul Gandhi said, "Have you heard Sidhu Moose Wala's song '295'? So 295 (seats)," he quipped, according to PTI.
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and CPI leader Sitaram Yechuri during the INDIA bloc meeting
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and CPI leader Sitaram Yechuri during the INDIA bloc meeting

The fight is still not over, and the leaders and workers of all the parties are extremely alert, said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge after the meeting of the INDIA bloc leaders on Saturday convened to take stock of the situation ahead of counting of votes on Tuesday.

"The fight is still not over," quite sums up the mood and stand of the opposition parties despite exit polls released on Saturday evening gave a thumping victory to the Narendra Modi-led NDA.

Rahul Gandhi is not willing to buy the results of the "exit polls."

After spearheading a spirited and dignified campaign for the opposition INDIA bloc, as against the insidious, hate-filled, divisive campaign of the ruling BJP, the young leader of the grand old party would rather wait patiently for the results to be declared on Tuesday to believe for himself the performance of the opposition bloc.

Rahul on Sunday dismissed the exit polls as "Modi media poll."

"This is not called an exit poll but its name is 'Modi media poll'. This is Modi ji's poll, it is his fantasy poll," Gandhi told reporters at the AICC headquarters after a meeting with party's Lok Sabha MPs via video conference.

Asked how many seats INDIA bloc will get, Gandhi said, "Have you heard Sidhu Moose Wala's song '295'? So 295 (seats)," he quipped, according to PTI.

For the ruling BJP-led NDA there are reasons enough to believe that Modi is returning to power for the third consecutive time. The overwhelming numbers the exit polls have thrown in NDA's favour is one of the reasons for that belief.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh hit out at Prime Minister Modi for holding several meetings, including a long brainstorming session to review the 100-day agenda of the "new government", saying these were "pressure tactics" to send out a signal to the bureaucracy and the administrative structure that he is coming back.

"These are mind games -- 'I am coming back, I am going to be the prime minister again'. He is sending a signal to the bureaucracy, the administrative structure of the country and we hope that the civil servants who have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuing a fair counting of votes will not be intimidated and not be frightened by these pressure tactics," Ramesh told PTI at the AICC headquarters here.

He also said that the exit polls that came out Saturday evening are "completely bogus" and have been "orchestrated and masterminded by the man whose exit is inevitable and guaranteed on June 4".

"These are all part of the psychological games being played by the outgoing prime minister (Narendra Modi) and the outgoing home minister (Amit Shah). The outgoing home minister called up 150 District Magistrates and collectors yesterday. The results that the exit polls have come up with bear no relation to reality," the Congress leader claimed.

"It flies in the face of all political feedback. The INDIA 'janbandhan' parties met yesterday, we went through state-wise analysis and there is no way INDIA janbandhan is going to get less than 295 seats," Ramesh said.

"This is a deliberate attempt to justify rigging, this is a deliberate attempt to justify manipulation of EVMs and this is also psychological ops to lower the morale of the Congress workers and the INDIA janbandhan workers. We are not going to be frightened, we are not going to be intimidated and you will see that the actual results on June 4 will be completely different from what these exit polls show," the Congress general secretary said.

These are political exit polls and not professional exit polls, he added.

Ramesh pointed out that Congress treasurer and senior leader Ajay Maken has raised the issue of candidates' counting agents at the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) table not being allowed.

"He (Maken) has raised this issue, there has been some response from the CEO of Delhi but the fact of the matter is that he raised this issue based on legitimate fears that had been expressed by the candidates. We have raised the issue of the counting of postal ballots and the effort of the Election Commission to change the methodology that has been part of the law," Ramesh said.

He said the Congress has raised all such issues before the poll watchdog and had filed 117 complaints to it over the lass 77 days, 14 of which are against the PM.

"There has been no credible action from the EC. It is a constitutional body and we expect it to function in an impartial, professional manner and must give us the confidence that it is on top of the job," he said.

"We have sought time from the EC on the postal ballots issue. We are hopeful that we will get time from the EC which should be accessible to all political parties and should not function like an extended arm of the ruling party. So we are hopeful that we will get time from the EC," the Congress general secretary said.

Ramesh reiterated that the exit polls have been "deliberately engineered by the man whose exit is inevitable on June 4".

On the slew of meetings being held by the PM on Sunday, Ramesh said, "All mind games being played, the fact that the outgoing home minister is talking to 150 DMs and collectors and the fact that the outgoing PM is talking to secretaries on his so called plan. He needs a 100-day plan of what he is going to do after June 4."

The counting of votes will take place on June 4.

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