New Delhi: Backed by exit poll predictions, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav today said that his party will surprise political analysts with a performance in West Bengal similar to that of Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“Bengal will surprise all the pollsters. We are hoping to do extremely well. What Uttar Pradesh was to us in 2014, Bengal will be in 2019,” he said.
“Everybody has seen a tremendous outpouring of support for Prime Minister Modi and BJP in Bengal this time,” Ram Madhav said.
India Today-Axis has projected a tough contest between Trinamool (TMC) and the BJP with both getting around 19 to 23 seats in the state, while another exit poll, News18-IPSOS, gave the TMC an edge over BJP, with the latter winning only 3-4 seats in the West Bengal.
BJP is wanting to make inroads in West Bengal. The BJP general secretary denied some exit polls projections that “Mahagathbandhan” will get a sizable number of seats in Uttar Pradesh at the cost of BJP. “I don’t think so,” he said.
He said, “Mere coming together of two parties does not make any difference. It is not about arithmetic only. They have to have a programme. People should be convinced that the coming together of these two parties will make a difference in their lives. That was not possible.”
“The confusion on what may happen in Uttar Pradesh will end on May 23. We will get good number of seats in UP,” he added.
A survey by BTVI-CVoter showed that the grand alliance will get 40 seats, while ABP News-Neilsen exit poll results put it at 56, 51 more than the BSP-SP combine bagged in 2014.
While the Samajwadi Party had won five seats, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party could not even open its account in the last Lok Sabha polls.
On the charge that these polls have been fought on the presidential model, the BJP leader said, “Leaders always matters in elections. In this case, Prime Minister Modi stands out as a very different and popular leader than any other leader of the country. That is a great advantage for us.”
Exuding confidence that the BJP will get a clear majority, Ram Madhav said that there has been a “tremendous wave” in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP.
“Right from the beginning, there was a wave in favour of PM’s leadership as well as his policies and programmes. Waves are largely created by the opposition but here is a situation where the ruling party created the wave in its favour. It speaks volumes about his leadership and his programmes,” Mr Madhav said.
“We are very confident of getting more seats for BJP itself (than in 2014). Together with NDA allies, we will have a very comfortable situation,” he added. Most of the exit polls on television channels on Sunday projected the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to retain power at the Centre with most of the pollsters giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi a clear majority again in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Counting of votes will begin on May 23.