Opposition can daydream till May 23, BJP will in with bigger mandate: Ram Madhav on exit polls

New Delhi: With opposition parties citing the example of Australia federal elections in which exit polls predictions went wrong, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Monday mocked his rivals saying they were daydreaming. He asserted that such a situation will not arise in India and said that BJP will win a bigger mandate than what exit polls are showing.

“The Opposition can keep on dreaming day and night till May 23. By 12 pm on that day, their dream will not come true. We will wait for the exact results. But, I am confident that we will get a bigger mandate than what exit polls are showing,” Madhav said. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s centre-right Liberal-National Coalition won the May 18 federal elections, in contrast to exit polls, which had projected a victory for the Opposition centre-left Labour Party.

While the Coalition gained 77 seats and secured a majority, Labour finished a close second with 69 seats. Asked on Congress’ seats not touching triple-digit figures as per exit polls, Madhav said it was a well-known fact as the people of the country wanted a stable and a development-oriented government.

“This was well-known before that Congress will not be touching three-digit figures. People want a stable, forward-looking and a development-focussed government,” he said. Taking a jibe at Opposition meetings and their comments on EVMs and electoral process, Madhav said that the mahagathbandhan could not stitch an alliance before the polls and hence, they “miserably failed.”

“They tried their best to stitch a mahagathbandhan before the polls and they miserably failed. They could not even stitch a proper alliance even in one state. This big talk of mahagathbandhan has simply collapsed,” the BJP leader added. Madhav further said, “They are again making a futile exercise to stitch together an alliance in post-poll. They do not seem to have a consensus on that. First, they say they will meet on 21st, but postponed it to 22nd and now they are saying we will wait for the results. Let us see what happens. None of these will work at all.”

In response to Indian general elections becoming a presidential-type, Madhav underlined that a leader always matters in polls. “A leader always matters in an election–be it Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We are fortunate to have a good leader like Prime Minister Modi. He stands out as a very different and popular politician as compared to any other leader in the country. Along with this is the five-year governance of the Prime Minister,” the BJP leader said.

Asserting that the two criteria were a “great advantage” for BJP, Madhav exuded confidence that the party would get a definite mandate as there is a wave in favour of Modi. He said that the “biggest story” in this year’s Lok Sabha elections will come from Odisha, West Bengal and North-East.

Highlighting the party’s prospects in southern India, Madhav said, “We will certainly do better than the last election in all the states. We will be picking up seats in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka, I am fully confident that we will secure more seats than before. We are hopeful of getting anything above 20 seats. We got 17 last time.” With the seven-phased elections coming to an end yesterday, all eyes are on the counting of votes for 542 Lok Sabha constituencies on May 23.

Several exit polls on television channels have projected that the BJP-led NDA will retain power at the Centre with most pollsters giving Modi a clear majority again in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The Opposition, however, has rejected the exit polls and questioned their authenticity.

In the 2014 general elections, the NDA got 341 seats of which BJP alone accounted for 282 seats. The UPA had 60 seats of which 44 were won by the Congress.