Exit polls do not reflect pulse of people, INDIA bloc will win 295 seats: Tharoor

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said the exit polls, which have predicted a third term for the BJP at the Centre, do not reflect the pulse of the people accurately and asserted that the opposition INDIA bloc will be getting 295 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.
Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor
Senior Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor

Thiruvananthapuram | Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said the exit polls, which have predicted a third term for the BJP at the Centre, do not reflect the pulse of the people accurately and asserted that the opposition INDIA bloc will be getting 295 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress viewed the exit polls with 'skepticism,' he said.

Counting of votes polled for 543 Lok Sabha seats over seven phases will be done on Tuesday across the country. Various post-poll surveys have backed the BJP to romp home with a strong majority.

Tharoor cited Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's assertion earlier that the INDIA bloc will get more than 295 seats.

The senior leader, who is the Congress-led UDF candidate for Thiruvananthapuram, said he and his party are quite relaxed going into the counting on Tuesday, and once again exuded confidence that he would emerge victorious from here for the fourth straight time.

Speaking to the media after sending a copy of Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a protest organised by the KPCC's Gandhi Darshan Samithi, Tharoor said the exit polls were done based on some sampling, which was not scientific.

The Congress held a protest against Modi's recent remark that the "world did not know of Mahatma Gandhi till the film ‘Gandhi' was made".

"We are seeing it (exit poll results) with skepticism and disbelief. We have also campaigned across the country. We also have a sense of what the pulse of the people is, and we do not believe that is reflected accurately in this poll," Tharoor, who is also the Congress Working Committee member said.

If any exit poll had said that the BJP could win seven seats in Kerala, then they are 'either suffering from heat stroke' or do not know about the state.

"Some of these exit polls are also laughable for other reasons; they are saying there are five seats in a particular state, but the BJP is going to win six," he said, taking a potshot at the exit poll predictions by various agencies.

He said that although Thiruvananthapuram is considered to be BJP's strongest constituency in Kerala, where they finished second twice, they also have a good chance of emerging as runner up this time. "But the likelihood of them actually winning is very low right now because there is no strong reason for it." He said there was no reason for the UDF to be worried.

Tharoor described the Thiruvananthapuram contest as a close three-way race but was confident about emerging triumphant.

He is facing a tough challenge from BJP's Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar and CPI candidate Pannyan Raveendran.

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