Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday said the Congress would repeat its performance in the 2012 elections in the hill State and win a clear majority.
The octogenarian leader, who returned to the State after a long vacation, rubbished the pro-BJP exit poll results by some television channels.
He said everything was manipulated by the BJP and that his own calculations suggested a comfortable win for the Congress.
Earlier, the State Congress president, Sukhwinder Singh, had made similar claims. “Many a time, the outcome of exit polls has proved wrong. The Congress will return to power comfortably in the State,” he said.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders are putting on a brave face after exit polls showed the party as lagging behind. Party insiders, who did not wish to be named, said cadres are disheartened and are blaming the senior leadership for creating factionalism within the party, leading to a poor showing.
“Their infighting has given the BJP a clear opportunity to regain power with a huge margin,” they said. Some of them, however, said the incumbency factor went against the six-time Chief Minister. In almost all of the 68 constituencies in the State, there were two groups — pro and anti Chief Minister — fighting against each other than against the Opposition. Rebels were motivated to contest the elections against the official nominees or to oppose them slyly.