Exit polls projections that the NDA would form the next governmment were savoured by BJP but dismissed by Congress and JD(U) which said parties should await the poll results on Friday, citing how such an exercise in 2004 and 2009 went wrong.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also dismissed the projections as a "great time pass" while Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal claimed they are "manipulated". Agarwal further claimed that Narendra Modi will never become the prime minister. The BJP-led NDA is projected to form the government at the Centre with exit polls last night giving between 249 and 290 seats to the Modi-led grouping, which is close to the half-way mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Counting of votes will be taken up on Friday. An upbeat BJP claimed it will do better than what the exit polls have predicted, stressing that the NDA will cross the 300-seat mark.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said NDA will surpass its average tally of 270-275 given to it as the coalition will sweep Seemandhra in alliance with TDP and do better in other places. Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley took a jibe at Congress, saying if the ruling party was finding it difficult to accept reality now they should accept defeat on May 16. Congress while dismissing the exit poll projections of a dismal performance by it, said a sample survey of a few lakh people cannot predict Lok Sabha election results.
"In a country of 800 million voters how can few lakh sample size surveys predict the result? Let's wait for 16th May (when votes will be counted)," Congress leader Digvijay Singh tweeted. Party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said the exit polls were proved wrong in the 2004 and 2009 elections and the party would wait for the actual results. Downplaying the exit poll predictions, Union Minister Kamal Nath also recalled that in 2004 and 2009 they were far off the mark and failed to foresee the swing in favour of Congress, and said it would be better to wait for the actual outcome.
"The only exit poll that matters is the one that is slated for Friday, the rest are all great time pass," Omar said on Twitter. Omar also questioned the credibility of the opinion polls in view of the vast difference between two surveys in the number of Lok Sabha seats expected to be won by parties in a particular state. Citing the example of Rajasthan, the Chief Minister wrote: "So one channel gives Cong only two (seats) in Rajasthan & another gives them 14. Did these channels cover the same election?"
With exit polls showing a poor performance by JD(U) in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dismissed the projections and said the results should be waited for. "Yah to aap log bol rahe hai (you are saying this)," Kumar told reporters in Patna in reply to repeated questions on exit poll projections in Bihar.