Raipur (Chhattisgarh): Dismissing the exit poll projections, which put Congress in the lead in Chhattisgarh, former chief minister and BJP stalwart Raman Singh on Thursday asserted that the saffron party will defy the numbers quoted by pollsters and from the next government in the state with a clear majority.
Speaking to ANI after the pollsters seemed to lean in favour of a Congress win in Chhattisgarh, Singh said, "Most exit polls are projecting the BJP to be a big leap from where it finished in 2018. From 15 seats in 2018, our tally is predicted to increase to 48 seats. I believe that the projections will not only hold but we will, in fact, get about 55-56 seats and form the government with a clear majority. Those running scared are talking about 'Operation Lotus' (in Chhattisgarh)."
He claimed that as the votes are counted on December 3, the Congress's tally will drop below 40 and they could even finish at less than 35 seats.
"You can be assured that the BJP will form a government with a handsome majority. The results on December 3 will show that Congress dropping below 35. They would struggle to get even 40 seats," he said.
The exit polls, earlier, gave Congress a clear edge in Chhattisgarh, showing that the ruling party in the state is poised to return to power with the BJP also expected to put up a good contest unlike in the 2018 polls.
While three polls predicted a clear victory of Congress, others said that the party was in the winning range. The Congress fought the election with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel at the helm.
According to ABP C-Voter predictions, Congress is poised to win 41-53 seats in the state which has a 90-member assembly. The exit poll said BJP is poised to get 36-48 seats and others 0-4 seats.
The India Today-Axis My India poll predicted Congress getting 40-50 seats, BJP 36-46 seats and others getting 1-5 seats.
The Republic TV exit poll gave Congress 44-52 seats, BJP 34-42 seats and 0-2 polls for others.
India TV-CNX poll predicted 46- 56 seats for Congress, 30-40 seats for BJP and 3-5 for others. The numbers for Congress and BJP in the Jan Ki Baat exit poll were 42-53 and 34-45 respectively and it predicted 0-3 seats for others.
The P-Marq poll said Congress is poised to win 46-54 seats with 44.6 per cent vote, BJP 35-42 seats with 42.9 per cent vote and others will get 0-2 seats with 12.5 per cent votes.
The poll done by Today's Chanakya predicted that Congress will get 57-66 seats in Chhattisgarh with BJP getting 33-42 seats with 0-3 seats going to the others.
Chhattisgarh went to the polls in two phases on November 7 and 17 and the counting of votes, along with that in the other four states, will take place on December 3.
The exit poll predictions came after polling concluded in Telangana, the last of the five states that went to polls this month.
In 2018, the Congress won 68 seats in Chhattisgarh and the BJP won 15 seats. Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) won five seats, while the Bahujan Samaj Party won two seats. (ANI)