Exit polls 2017: Head in clouds, Rahul Gandhi fails to read Narendra Modi juggernaut, paves way for Congress-mukt Uttar Pradesh

All the exit polls have come in and the results are pointing to a massive drubbing for the Congress in all states barring Punjab.

All the exit polls have come in and the results are pointing to a massive drubbing for the Congress in all states barring Punjab. And yet Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who campaigned extensively in Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab and took on PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) head on in every sphere including extreme forms of rhetoric has refused to acknowledge the results that have been forecast. The polls have given as high a seat count to the BJP as 285 in Uttar Pradesh, and the least 155, while the Congress and Samajwadi Party alliance has been given a high of 169 and a low of 88. However, that has cut no ice with the Congress or for the SP for that matter and both have been saying since yesterday that they will be forming the next government. In fact, the SP leaders have gone to the extent of hinting of rampant fraud in exit polls and said that they have been changed under duress.

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While that may be just bravado, the point of the entire sequence of events is that Gandhi and SP leaders like Akhilesh Yadav know the actual results will be filtering in within 48 hours on Saturday starting 6 am and yet they are willing to still mouth inanities. On the wider canvas, this also points to their biggest failure of them all and that is refusing to recognise reality for what it is. That reality was in the form of the Narendra Modi juggernaut. While Congress, SP and Mayawati led Bahujan Samaj Party were still trying to play their caste and region politics and were paying lip service to poverty alleviation and economic empowerment, Modi stole their thunder through his actions and attempts to power up the Indian economy and carry the same message to the people of the poll-going states – that message was, ‘if you vote for us, the new BJP government will not just pull the state out of poverty and rampant corruption, but will ensure its economy starts humming and the people would then be able to aspire to more than just the basics and even dream of comparative riches and a better future for their children.’

PM Modi created a no-win situation for the Congress and SP, yes. However, the fact that the top leaders of all these BJP rivals failed to recognise it for what it was – the death warrant of their dreams in these assembly elections – indicates that they may well have paved the way for a Congress-mukt and perhaps SP-mukt Uttar Pradesh.

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