As it is getting increasingly clearer in all the exit polls that the Congress party and the opposition will have to be content with a ‘Moral Victory’ in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the liberals on social media are incapable of hiding their frustration and despondency over the poll results. As the numbers started to trickle in, suggesting PM Modi’s re-election as Prime Minister, many liberals couldn’t stop themselves from having a meltdown on Twitter.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah who appeared taken aback by the results from all the exit polls. Abdullah was so dismayed by the exit poll results that he tweeted that it is time to switch off the TV and log out of social media and wait for May 23 to confirm his perhaps worst fears turning true.
Every single exit poll can’t be wrong! Time to switch off the TV, log out of social media & wait to see if the world is still spinning on its axis on the 23rd.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 19, 2019
Another usual suspect, Barkha Dutt, who has often written disparaging articles about the BJP and PM Modi in the international dailies, downplayed PM Modi’ charisma by pinning the blame of the dismal performance of the opposition on the lack of their national ‘leadership’.
The 2019 election: Lack of a national leadership alternative means advantage Modi. I am no pollster and i could be wrong but here is why I think Modi has best chance to be PM again. The “Aur Kaun Hai” election for @htTweets https://t.co/Ub8ev4dGAA
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) May 19, 2019
Hartosh Singh Bal, known for being sharply critical of the Modi government had already blamed the Congress party for putting up a miserable fight against the robust BJP election machinery. Slamming Congress, Bal said that the regional parties have done a better job than the national party.
a week from now if the results end up making us suffer modi in power again it will only be because the cong has spectacularly failed to hold its own in a direct contest with the BJP. the regional parties have more than done their job.
— Hartosh Singh Bal (@HartoshSinghBal) May 16, 2019
According to controversial journalist Rana Ayyub, the opposition’s move to rake up purported agrarian distress didn’t cut ice with the voters as they continued to repose their faith in the leadership of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
Acc to axis exit poll CONG-NCP, decimated in maharashtra and gujarat. Again expected lines. Agrarian distress in maharashtra made no impact and gujaratis will not let down their two key leaders.
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) May 19, 2019
One of the founders of the Wire, Sidharth Bhatia, who was also accused of molestation during the raging #MeToo movement, discredited the exit polls altogether, contending that they have no objectivity and are only used to provide fodder to news outlets to help them in keeping their viewers entertained.
Pollsters are wary of straying too far from the ‘general consensus’. There is a herd mentality, so they play safe. Also voters don’t reveal their minds freely. But the exit polls provide fodder to news outlets, bolster the spirits of the troops and keep the janata entertained.
— Sidharth Bhatia (@bombaywallah) May 19, 2019
Another Wire founder, MK Venu, was quick to highlight the silver lining in the cloud. Venu cited ABP’s exit poll which still stated that NDA might be 6 short of the 272 figure to form the government.
Exit polls by @abpnewstv shows NDA may fall short of majority by 6 seats inspite of heavy losses in UP. BJP alone may be around 225.
— M K Venu (@mkvenu1) May 19, 2019
Despite the abysmal performance from Congress in all exit polls, some journalists such as Madhavan Narayanan were still upbeat about the prospects of the opposition government at the centre. Going against the tide, Madhavan predicted that NDA tally would be close to 210 to 235 while the exit polls are showing close to 300.
Here’s my own prediction. 210 to 235 for NDA. #LokSabhaElections2019
— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) May 19, 2019
From being a passionate BJP supporter to being one of its trenchant critiques, Rupa Subramanya was gobsmacked that the purported failures of the Modi government on the economic front had no effect on the voters voting for the BJP.
Amazing. So BJP expected to do even better than 2014. It’s almost as if voters didn’t care about any of the failures of the last 5 years especially on the economy. https://t.co/g8G0pKcyiM
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) May 19, 2019
While some were indirect in dismissing the exit polls, Sanjay Hegde was direct in rubbishing the exit polls. Perhaps, he foresaw the exit polls in advance.
— SANJAY HEGDE (@sanjayuvacha) May 19, 2019
Congress sympathiser Ashok Swain was also seen visibly rattled by PM Modi’s re-election as PM. Casting aspersions on Modi’s Kedarnath visit, Swain alleged that it was all staged.
Had no respect for this bigot nor will ever respect this bigot in the future even if he grows a pair of wings and flies to Mars. My only interest is to know why was that photographer stationed there? To take the photo of what?
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) May 19, 2019
Deflated by the exit poll results, many opposition party leaders took a dim view of the predictions and refused to comment on them. They said they’d rather comment on the May 23.
Yes. Todays exit polls are going to project massive wins for BJP. I ve spoken to so many Oppn leaders who say they wont waste their.time today but wait for 23rd https://t.co/VEqgQJ1A7a
— Priya Sahgal (@Priyascorner) May 19, 2019
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was perhaps apprised of the unpleasant performance by Congress in exit poll beforehand. Possibly, this is why Chidambaram was found venting his spleen on the Election Commission, asserting that it has “surrendered” its independence and authority.
Our charge had been that the EC was sleeping on the job. Now, we can go further and say that the EC completely surrendered its independence and authority. Shame!
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 19, 2019
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee seemed visibly irate at the exit poll numbers. She summarily rejected the “poll gossip”, making an outrageous claim that it is a “game plan” to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs.
I don’t trust Exit Poll gossip. The game plan is to manipulate or replace thousands of EVMs through this gossip. I appeal to all Opposition parties to be united, strong and bold. We will fight this battle together
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 19, 2019
In 2014 too, Liberals had an epic meltdown after the exit polls then had predicted that the BJP will be sweeping the Lok Sabha 2014 polls and that Narendra Modi is well placed to become the country’s new Prime Minister.
Realising that the numbers have not been particularly impressive for the opposition front, the National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in 2014 had stated that exit polls are time pass and that they are disconnected with the reality.
The only exit poll that matters is the one that is slated for Friday, the rest are all great time pass.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 12, 2014
Known for her appalling brand of journalism, Sagarika Ghose was expecting on the results day in 2014 that the actual count of seats to the opposition would defy what the exit polls have been predicting. In a few hours since then, she was apparently proven wrong.
Its time for the biggest Friday show! Will the exit polls lose the election or be proved right? Only place to be is CNNIBN and #Verdict2014
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) May 16, 2014
Reacting to the exit polls which had suggested gloomy numbers for the AAP party in Delhi, journalist Harinder Baweja rubbished the polls stating she’d wait for the actual results. However, as per the results, all the 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in 2014 were bagged by the BJP.
Tired of exit polls. Considering no one even gave AAP a chance in Delhi, best to wait for actual results
— Harinder Baweja (@shammybaweja) October 16, 2014
Journalist and former AAP leader Krishan Partap Singh, who claimed that he’d walk naked on Rajpath if Modi became PM had dismissed the exit polls in 2014 that suggested bleak numbers for AAP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Singh had a glimmer of optimism that the actual results would defy the polls, but it never happened.
Exit polls may be right or wrong, either way there’s no nd to fight. Stay calm & wait till Friday. Counting day always brings surprises. KP
— Krishan Partap Singh (@RaisinaSeries) May 13, 2014
Sensing the exit poll has been predicting an ignominious defeat for his allegedly preferred party, Chandra endorsed restrain from delving into the numbers citing the two exit polls of 2004 and 2009 that went wrong.
2004, 2009 exit polls weren’t correct. But which of the two theories was at work? Overestimating BJP or underestimating eventual winner?
— Vikram Chandra (@vikramchandra) May 13, 2014
In all, Prime Minister Modi is set to come back with a thumping majority yet again if the Exit polls are to be believed. This mandate would be a victory for the BJP despite the constant negative media campaigning by the very people are caught whining today.