Exit polls fantasy, wait for results but that is rigged – the great Congress conundrum

Niraj Sharma
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Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during a press conference after the INDIA bloc leaders� meeting at Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge�s residence, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: The exit polls predicting the return of the Modi government for a straight third term were junked by Congress saying they were written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a hint that the grand old party may also reject the mandate, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh called it a deliberate attempt to justify rigging and manipulation of EVMs.

Congress is implying that the mandate will be a result of rigging and manipulation if it is against them.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi dubbed the exit polls as "Modi media fantasy poll".

In the same breath, Gandhi inadvertently hinted at how the INDIA bloc arrived at a claim of winning at least 295 seats.

Asked how many seats the INDIA bloc will get, Gandhi said, "Have you heard Sidhu Moose Wala's song '295'? So 295 (seats)." 

295 is a famous title by the late singer which has garnered about 60 crore views on YouTube.

However, it is not clear if 295 is the magical number to characterise this election as fair or fraud.

Wait. All may not be over yet. If the claims and the confidence to get the mandate to rule the country despite what was predicted by the exit polls are to be believed, the elections are not rigged yet.

This was also corroborated by the fact that a multi-party delegation led by Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi handed over all the apprehensions around possible rigging to the Election Commission of India.

This was also corroborated by Congress’ partner in INDIA alliance Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal. 

In his celebratory speech before returning to jail, Kejriwal asked his supporters to ensure no one succeeds in any sort of manipulation including verification of polled votes through VVPAT.

Gandhi also appealed to his supporters to remain vigilant against any possible rigging in elections immediately after the end of the campaigning.

Political analysts appearing on TV were heard asking, “Does it mean that the INDIA bloc has taken the onus on itself to ensure fair counting and declaration of the results and would it blame itself if the results are in favour of Modi after all the checks and balances?”

The Congress party has been apprehensive about the smooth transfer of power if it wins indicating Modi may refuse to accept the mandate.

Having expressed such concerns citing the examples of the transfer of powers by Indira Gandhi in 1977 and Rajiv Gandhi in 1989, the grand old party is bound by a moral commitment to abide by the election results.

Both sides were heard claiming that the other side was preparing to create some unrest across the country in a situation of loss.

Going by Exit Polls predictions, the onus for now, is on the opposition alliance to accept the defeat with all humility.