Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that the Congress, which "considers the PM's post its birth-right", is backing out even before the elections are over and this indicates how badly the party expects to perform. After the sixth round of election, BJP chief Amit Shah has predicted that the party's tally has crossed 300 seats.
"Even before voting ends, before exit polls, before counting, (the Congress) is saying openly that it is ready to forgo its claim on the PM's post," PM Modi said on Thursday.
"While earlier they used to claim the PM's post for themselves, now they are saying, 'you first, you first'. They went so far as to say, 'we are not claiming anything'," he added.
His remarks, made in Kolkata, followed the comments of Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad, who said the Congress would not "make an issue" if the PM's post "is not offered to us".
Mr Azad's remark was seen as a climbdown for the party and soon after, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala clarified, "As the single largest party we will have a stake on leadership but it will be dependent on the results".
Results also became the deciding factor for the opposition strategy session that is being planned.
Over the last week, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has been reaching out to opposition leaders, seeking their participation in at a meeting ahead of the results to prepare for various case scenarios.
Advance planning had enabled the Congress to form a coalition in Karnataka with HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular even though the BJP had emerged as the single largest party.
But later in the evening, Congress sources said no formal meeting has been planned as of now by consensus. All parties have agreed that the meeting will be held as soon as the results are out which is likely to take place on the day of counting.