Rajat Sharma


AKB30 On a day when Congress and other opposition leaders were busy alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meditation in Kanyakumari was a “gimmick” to influence the last phase of polling, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge came out with his predictions about Lok Sabha polls. In an exclusive interview to India TV correspondent Vijaylaxmi, Kharge gave state-wise assessments to predict that Congress-led INDIA bloc would win more than the required magic mark of 272 and Congress would emerge as the single largest party in Lok Sabha. Kharge claimed that the opposition alliance would do spectacularly well in states like Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Bengal, UP, Rajasthan, Bihar and Maharashtra. He predicted Maha Vikas Aghadi would win 30 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra, while in UP, the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance would win 30 to 35 seats out of a total of 80. Kharge was hopeful of Congress winning at least eight out of a total of 10 seats in Haryana. He did not reveal the sources on which he had based his assessment. India TV political editor Devendra Parashar spoke to BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda about his assessment. Nadda was quite clear about Narendra Modi getting a third term as Prime Minister. He said, whatever claims any party of leader might make, BJP was going to achieve its aim of securing more than 400 LS seats. Nadda explained the reasons for his assessment. He said, BJP would increase its tally this time in UP, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Maharashtra, while it would repeat its 2019 performance in Rajasthan, MP, Gujarat, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Nadda was hopeful of BJP winning 18 out of a total of 21 seats in Odisha, while, he said, BJP and its allies would sweep all 40 seats in Bihar. Nobody can stop anybody from predicting the outcome of LS elections, but it is difficult to believe in assessments made by political leaders. I asked political strategist Prashant Kishore about his assessment. Prashant Kishore is not presently aligned with any political party. He works independently and his predictions are more often proved correct. Prashant Kishore told me that BJP would form its third consecutive government smoothly and Narendra Modi would undoubtedly be sworn in for the third term as PM. In 2019 elections, he said, BJP had won nearly 250 seats in the North and West (he included Karnataka), and he was not finding any substantial loss for the party this time. In the lst elections, he said, BJP had won 53 seats in the South and East, and the party’s total tally touched 303 in 2019. This time, Prashant Kishore said, BJP would make substantial gains of nearly 25-26 seats in Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and this would seal its overall victory. Prashant Kishore worked with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in Bengal’s last assembly elections, ensuring a landslide victory for her party. He had then correctly predicted about BJP’s defeat in Bengal. During the election campaign, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had floated a speculation that even if BJP wins, Modi would make Amit Shah the PM and UP CM Yogi Adityanath might lose his seat. Akhilesh Yadav repeated this theory in his public meetings too. India TV political editor Devendra Parashar posed a question on this to BJP chief J P Nadda on Friday. Nadda’s reply was, “all speculations about Modi’s retirement are baselss, Modi will not only lead the BJP in 2024, but also in 2029.” On Yogi, Nadda said, “Kejriwal has this habit of removing all his competitors from his party, and probably he thinks parties are run like this; in BJP, we accord respect to every leader”. On Friday, National Conference leader Dr Farooq Abdullah said, exit polls predictions would be proved incorrect on June 4. Congress went a step ahead. The party announced that it would boycott exit poll debates on TV channels on Saturday. Congress leaders said, “since voters have already given their verdict and their votes are locked inside EVMs, the results will be there for all to see on June 4. Congress party’s view is that there is no jusitification in taking part in debates on public surveys before the results are out. The aim of any debate is to enrich the knowledge of viewers. Congress party will gladly participate in TV debates on June 4 Counting Day.” Home Minister Amit shah described Congress party’s decision as unfortunate and said, it appears that the Congress has already accepted its defeat, and it is trying to find excuses to explain its defeat. “Since the time Rahul Gandhi took over the reins of Congress, this party has always been running on denial mode, and is practising negative politics. This will not help the party”, Amit Shah said. Exit polls will be telecast on India TV this Saturday (June 1) from 5 pm onwards. Our reporters and anchors would be speaking with election experts to explain the nuances of exit poll results on Saturday. Of course, the real results will be telecast on June 4 by India TV from 6 am onwards on Tuesday.

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