Arun Jaitley's "Albatross" Dig At Gandhis Over Exit Poll Predictions

The exit polls have predicted that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) may win 302 of 543 seats and the Congress and its allies 122.

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Arun Jaitley's 'Albatross' Dig At Gandhis Over Exit Poll Predictions

Arun Jaitley also took dig at the opposition, calling their alliances "coalition of rivals". (File)


New Delhi: 

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday launched an unsparing attack on the Gandhi family that is at the helm of affairs in the Congress, a day after exit polls predicted a mammoth win for the BJP in the Lok Sabha Elections. In a blog, Mr Jaitley described the Gandhis as an "albatross around the neck" of the Congress.

"I re-assert my earlier hypothesis that in the Congress the first family is no longer an asset but an albatross around neck of the Party. Without the family, they don't get the crowd, with it they don't get the votes," Mr Jaitley wrote in a blog titled "The Message of Exit Polls".

Many Congress presidents, including current chief Rahul Gandhi, come from the Nehru-Gandhi family.

The exit polls have predicted that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) may win 302 of 543 seats and the Congress and its allies 122, creating a flutter in the opposition ranks. Many opposition leaders have rubbished the exit polls, saying they have been wrong in the past.

Mr Jaitley, however, said the exit polls have sent out a message.

"Many of us may continue to squabble over correctness and accuracy of the Exit Polls. The hard reality is that when multiple Exit Polls convey the same message, the direction of the result broadly would be in consonance with the message," his blog read.

Mr Jaitley also took dig at the opposition, calling their alliances "coalition of rivals".

"'Coalition of Rivals' are untenable alliances and the voters are no longer willing to trust them. Political analysts are confused but the voters are clear. They don't elect hung Parliament where ugly and untenable coalitions have a role to play," he said.

"The arithmetic of caste coalitions loses to the chemistry on the ground created for the front runner in the elections. This chemistry is in form of catching the imagination of the people on issues of national interest," he added.

The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party contested the Lok Sabha election in an alliance to keep the BJP at bay in Uttar Pradesh. The poll of polls, an aggregate of exit polls, has predicted 49 seats for the BJP in the state. The Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav combination is given 29 seats while the Congress is set to do no better than it did in 2014 - two seats, if exit polls prove correct.

The Congress and regional parties were in talks for a pan-India alliance against the BJP. After the talks failed, the party contested the national elections in alliances in Bihar and Tamil Nadu.

The exit polls predict a landslide win for the BJP-JDU alliance in Bihar. The Congress-DMK alliance, however, may win 27 out of 38 seats in Tamil Nadu.

The BJP is also making inroads in West Bengal and Odisha-- the states that have been off-limits for the party until now, the exit polls say.

In Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress will get 26 of 42 seats and the BJP will move to double digits at 14 - from two the last time -- predict exit polls.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will be neck and neck with the BJP, the poll of polls says. That is a huge improvement for the BJP, which won just one of the state's 21 seats in 2014.

Many opposition leaders like Trinamool Congress chief  Mamata Banerjee, TDP's N Chandrababu Naidu and the Congress's Shashi Tharoor have debunked the exit poll results. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, however,said all the exit poll couldn't be wrong at the same time.

The counting of votes will take place on May 23.



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