With less than 36 hours to go before the counting of votes begins in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, both ruling Congress and opposition BJP are claiming victory. While the Congress dismissed the exit poll results, which predicted a BJP victory, the saffron party expressed confidence that their performance would better projections. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who returned to Shimla after 18 days, dismissed the exit poll results, saying he could well read the mood of the people of the state and the actual results would be opposite to the exit poll projections.
“I am confident that ‘mission repeat’ would be achieved and tall claims made by the BJP would be proved wrong,” he told reporters. Singh said he visited every nook and corner of the state during the election campaign and has no doubt the Congress was in a strong position. “The Congress would certainly for the government.”
On the other hand, former chief minister and senior BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal was highly optimistic and said the results would be same as projected in the exit polls. Talking to reporters at his Samirpur residence, Dhumal said the Congress party was upset with the exit polls and was making vague statements. “In fact, the BJP would win more seats than projected in exit-polls,” he said. Dhumal was declared the chief ministerial face of the BJP towards the end of the campaign.