Kolkata, May 19 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party seemed gung-ho, while the Trinamool Congress remained mum and the Congress and the CPI-M were dismissive of the exit poll predictions on Sunday, which suggested that the BJP could win 16 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
The BJP had bagged only two seats in the 2014 general elections.
“We have been targeting more than 50 per cent of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. One of the exit poll (AC Nielsen) have suggested we could get 16 and the TMC 24. Final verdict will give the opposite to this exit poll. We will exceed our target of minimum 23 seats handsomely,” said state BJP President Dilip Ghosh.
Comparing the opinion polls that had earlier suggested 7-8 seats for the BJP, with the exit polls, Ghosh said there was clearly an “upsurge” for his party.
IANS tried to contact two Trinamool leaders. While party Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said he was not in a position to talk, Trinamool parliamentary party leader Derek O’Brien did not reply to WhatsApp message containing the query.
CPI-M state secretariat member and leader of the Left Front legislature party Sujon Chakraborty said, “on most occasions, exit poll projections don’t tally with the actual results, and we have seen this time and again”.
However, he said the way the campaign was converted into a Narendra Modi versus Mamata Banerjee duel it “would have dangerous consequences for the state in future. I am sure the people of the state will realise this danger”.
Congress Rajya Sabha member and its former state President Pradip Bhattacharya rubbished the poll. “It’s nonsense. It has no basis,” said the veteran leader.