Reacting to the Opinion Polls predicting a dismal show by Congress in the ongoing Assembly polls, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh today said he did not set great store by them as they are "more opinion than polls" done to project a particular party.
"Don't believe in Opinion Polls. Increasingly in India Opinion Polls are less polls and more opinion. Do not go by them. These are being done deliberately to project one party," Ramesh said in reply to queries at a meet-the-press here.
He also dismissed the view that the outcome of the Assembly polls would reflect the national mood.
"These Assembly polls are not a national referendum. Remember, in December 2003 Congress lost in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, but in May 2004, the party formed the UPA I," the Central minister said.
"So, what happens in the Assembly and what happens in the Lok Sabha are two entirely different things. If we do very well in the Assembly elections,it does not necessarily mean that we do very well in the Lok Sabha polls. If we don't do very well in the Assembly elections, it does not mean that we will not do very well in the Lok Sabha. So please don't link with the two," he elaborated.
Asked about the role of social media in the upcoming polls, he said it was an exaggeration to say that social media would determine the outcome.
"Social media create chats. It creates buzz. And who are actively in social media is 18 to 24 years old... the first time voters. To say that social media is determining electoral outcome in the country is a gross exaggeration. In my mind, old style political mobilisation of Kerala variety will win or lose elections," he said.
The Congress leader noted parties like BSP or SP did not rely on social media.
"Both BSP, SP have no social media... Social media is important. We will make use of it. It would be foolish not to make use of social media," he added.