As exit polls for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections project a big victory for the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the “opportunistic” INDIA bloc “failed to strike a chord with the voters.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance is projected to win a big majority in Lok Sabha.(ANI)

“They are casteist, communal and corrupt,” he posted on X.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India’s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Modi, without referring to the exit poll results, suggested that the opposition’s focus on criticising him rather than presenting a forward-looking vision contributed to their projected poor performance.

Meanwhile, Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in charge of communications, dismissed the exit poll results as manipulated. He predicted a decisive win for the INDIA bloc, claiming they would secure at least 295 seats. Ramesh accused Modi of orchestrating the exit polls to play psychological games and expressed confidence that the actual results on June 4 would differ significantly.

“The man whose exit is certain on June 4th has had these exit polls orchestrated. The INDIA Janbandhan will definitely get a minimum of 295 seats, which is a clear and decisive majority,” Ramesh asserted.

“The outgoing Prime Minister can remain smug for three days in the meanwhile. These are all psychological games he is masterminding but the ACTUAL results will be very different,” he added.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) also rejected the exit poll forecasts, particularly regarding the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal. TMC leader Santanu Sen recalled how previous polls had inaccurately predicted BJP victories, only for the TMC to win decisively in the 2021 state elections. Sen expressed confidence that the TMC would win over 30 Lok Sabha seats.

“Most of the exit polls had predicted a victory for the BJP in the 2021 assembly elections. But we all know what the actual results were — TMC won a two-thirds majority. We believe in people’s polls, not opinion polls or exit polls. The TMC will win more than 30 Lok Sabha seats in the state,” Sen claimed.

The CPI(M) echoed this sentiment, with leader Sujan Chakraborty advising caution and urging people to wait for the official results, as exit polls and opinion polls often do not align with actual outcomes.

In Tamil Nadu, where BJP is expected to make gains, the party’s state unit K Annamalai hailed the exit poll predictions as a significant step forward for the party in a state traditionally dominated by AIADMK and DMK. Referring to the exit poll results, Annamalai expressed optimism about the party’s prospects on June 4.

“A state where you said BJP can’t enter, a state till yesterday AIADMK and DMK were saying we are NOTA party…today we have proven that our vote share is above 20%. On June 4, we will prove that we are going to open our seats and we are going to send MPs from Tamil Nadu on behalf of NDA and BJP from different corners of the state…people of Tamil Nadu have said that they will stand with PM Modi,” he told ANI.

A summary of six exit polls projected the NDA could win between 355 and 380 seats, a number that is likely to boost financial markets when they reopen on Monday.