Indian Opposition Leaders Reject Exit Polls Predicting Modi Win

(Bloomberg) -- Indian opposition leaders dismissed the exit polls predicting a landslide victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a top politician calling it a “Modi media poll.”

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Rahul Gandhi, a leader with the main opposition Indian National Congress, also said the exit polls “were in favor of Modi and they were a fantasy.”

Most of the exit polls released on Saturday showed the opposition alliance, made up of more than 20 political parties, was struggling to keep up with Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. The exit polls showed the opposition may get less than 150 of the 543 seats in the lower house of parliament while the BJP and its allies are set to get more than 350 seats.

Read more: Modi Set for Landslide Election Win in India, Exit Polls Show

Initially, the Congress party said it would not participate in debates around the exit polls but have since changed tactics, saying their alliance would win 295 seats. The results for the weekslong election will be declared on June 4.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the exit poll data had been manufactured for media consumption and have no value, according to the Press Trust of India.

Sanjay Raut, a senior opposition leader, alleged the exit polls were influenced by the BJP-led coalition.

“You can get whatever numbers you want,” Raut, a member of the Shiv Sena faction siding with the opposition, said in response to the BJP. “If tomorrow, we are in power and we have a lot of money, then we can get the numbers we want through exit polls.”

The BJP was having none of it. “Exit polls are made on the basis of what the public wants,” BJP leader Shaina NC told reporters. To the opposition, she said: “The world subsists on hope but read the writing on the wall.”

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