EXIT POLL PROJECTIONS
By our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 17: A day after most exit polls predicted a ruway win for the BJP-AGP-BPF alliance in the Assam assembly elections, the Congress tried to put on a brave face with its leaders trashing the projections. "Such surveys are done on urban highways. To get the real picture in this State, you have to come to its villages. In our rural areas, people are still with the Congress," said Bhupen Bora, AICC general secretary, two-times Bihpuria MLA and Congress candidate for the seat.
Pointing out that exit polls have gone terribly wrong in the New Delhi and Bihar elections, the Congress urged people not to believe in the exit polls for Assam. "There is no truth behind these exit polls. There were many exit polls after the Delhi and Bihar assembly polls. However, all of them were proved to be wrong. The same is going to happen here," said Apurba Bhattacharya, senior spokesman of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC).
"We are confident that the people of Assam have voted for the Congress, considering the development the party has brought to Assam since 2001. The Congress and its allies are going to form the government," he added.
The Congress further alleged that such polls are 'tactics used by the BJP to influence officials engaged in the counting of votes' on May 19. "The BJP knows that the Congress is coming back to power in Assam again and so they have taken to this tactic to influence the counting process in their favor," alleged Bhattacharya.
Meanwhile, State BJP president and the saffron party's chief ministerial candidate Sarbanda Sonowal on Tuesday said the exit polls only reflected the wishes of the people and that BJP and its allies are going to form the next government in the state.
Addressing a press conference, Sonowal also predicted that the BJP is going to win over 84 seats in Assam. "I am sure the voters in Assam want a change and they have voted for a change this time. We believe that the people of Assam have given a decisive mandate in favor of the BJP and we are going to fulfill their expectations," he said.
Later, talking to The Sentinel, Sonowal said: "The people of Assam supported the Congress for the last 15 years but their hopes and expectations were belied. To safeguard the existence of the State, its land and society, as well as to bring about development, the people have desired change this time. This is a phenomenon we too have observed."
AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta speaking to this newspaper said, "I don't believe in exit polls. But it is clear that the BJP-led alliance will form the government the new government as it has received the people's mandate."
On Monday, three exit polls predicted that the BJP-led alliance could bag 79 to 93 seats in the 126-member Assam assembly, while a fourth survey gave the BJP and its two allies - Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) - 57 seats, close to the critical half-way mark of 63.
The India Today-Axis exit poll gave 79-93 seats to the BJP combine, 26-33 to the Congress and 6-10 to the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). ABP-Nielsen predicted 81 seats to the BJP coalition, 33 to the Congress and 10 to the AIUDF. The NewsX-Chakya poll gave 90 seats to the BJP combine, 27 to the Congress and nine to the AIUDF. According to TimesNow C-Voter exit poll, the BJP and allies would get 57 seats, the Congress 41, AIUDF 18 and others 10.