Arun Jaitley in a blogpost says the Gandhi family has become a liability for the Congress, like an albatross around the neck of the party. (Photo: PTI)

Election Results To Be In Consonance With Exit Polls, Says Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed hope that the Lok Sabha election results would be in consonance with the outcome of multiple exit polls, which have predicted a second term for the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance.

Some exit polls have projected that the alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party will get more than 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha. The election results are due Thursday.

"Many of us may continue to squabble over correctness and accuracy of the exit polls. The hard reality is that when multiple exit polls convey the same message, the direction of the result broadly would be in consonance with the message," Jaitley said in a blogpost titled "The Message of Exit Polls".

Observing that electronic voting machines play no role in exit polls, the minister said if the actual election results are in the same direction as exit polls, "the opposition's fake issue of the EVMs would also lose its non-existent rationale".

"If the exit polls are read along with the 2014 election results, it would be clear that there is a huge maturing of Indian democracy taking place,” he said in the blogpost. “The electorate keeps national interest paramount before exercising a choice on whom to vote for. When well-meaning people with similar ideas vote in the same direction, it leads to the making of a wave.”

Referring to the Congress, Jaitley said that the Gandhi family has become a liability for the grand-old party. "... in the Congress, the first family is no longer an asset but an albatross around the neck of the party. Without the family, they don't get the crowd, with it they don't get the votes," he said.

He also said the personalised campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't cut much ice in 2014 and may not cut any ice in 2019.

"Leaders are judged on merit and not on caste or family names. Thus, Prime Minister's style of rising above caste and concentrating on performance related issues received far more acceptability with the electorate," Jaitley said. “The arithmetic of caste coalitions is no longer valid and has yielded place to national interest.”