Channels have received advertisements in lieu of depicting sponsored results, claims Congress

The results of exit polls in Madhya Pradesh, which suggest the Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to perform a hat-trick, caused a stir in offices of both Congress and BJP on Thursday.

Congress general-secretary Digvijaya Singh said the polls “only merited the dustbin” and the party had complained to the EC against the telecasting of the poll results even before re-polling in three booths was completed. BJP leaders, while officially attributing Congress’ reactions to its fear of defeat, privately advised caution on the seats projected, maintaining, however, that they would win. Former Chief Minister Uma Bharti and other BJP leaders broke their election-induced silence over allegations of corruption in MP and demanded probes into mining and education scams.

Disparaging the exit polls, Leader of the Opposition Ajay Singh told The Hindu they were “sponsored” with the intention of influencing counting officials. “All channels that have run the exit polls have received advertisements in lieu of the results these polls are giving,” he said.

AICC secretary Sanjay Nirupam, who participated in a workshop for candidates on the counting process, also condemned the exit polls. “There are around 20 ministers and several sitting BJP MLAs who are losing. The actual results on December 8 will blacken the faces of the polling agencies,” he said.

Ms. Bharti attributed the results to the merger of her faction — Bharatiya Janshakti Party — into BJP in 2011. “My departure had taken away almost 12 lakh BJP voters [in the 2008 polls]. They have returned... The performance of BJP will remove the phobia people had about my re-entry into the party. People thought I will destabilise the government,” she said.

While praising Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan, Ms. Bharti said she would take up the issue of Rio Tinto’s alleged illegal diamond-mining in Bundelkhand. “A man in Buxwaha near Rio Tinto’s diamond mines killed his wife and three children with an axe as he could not feed them... I am not suspecting the CM’s integrity but this disparity should not prevail in the region.”