New Delhi: Backed by exit poll predictions, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Monday said that his party will surprise political analysts with a performance in West Bengal similar to that of Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
"Bengal will surprise all the pollsters. We are hoping to do extremely well in Bengal. What UP was to us in 2014, Bengal will be in 2019," he told ANI here.
"Everybody has seen a tremendous outpouring of support for Prime Minister Modi and BJP in Bengal this time," Madhav said.
India Today-Axis has projected a tough contest between the TMC and the BJP with both getting around 19 to 23 seats in the state, while another exit poll, News18-IPSOS, gave the TMC an edge over BJP, with the latter winning only 3-4 seats in the West Bengal, a state where the saffron party is wanting to make inroads.
Madhav denied some exit polls projections that 'Mahagathbandhan' will get a sizable number of seats in UP at the cost of BJP. "I don't think so," he said.
He said, "Mere coming together of two parties does not make any difference. It is not about arithmetic only. They have to have a programme. People should be convinced that these two parties coming together will make a difference in their lives. That was not possible."
"The confusion on what may happen in UP will end on May 23. We will get a pretty good number of seats in UP as well," he added.
A survey by BTVI-CVoter showed the grand alliance getting 40 seats, while ABP News-Neilsen exit poll results put in at 56, 51 more than the BSP-SP combine bagged in 2014.
While the Samajwadi Party had won five seats, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party could not even open its account in the last Lok Sabha polls.
On the charge that these polls have been fought on the presidential model, the BJP leader said, "Leaders always matters in elections. In this case, Prime Minister Modi stands out as a very different and popular leader than any other leader of the country. That is a great advantage for us."
Exuding confidence that the BJP will get a clear majority, Madhav said that there has been a "tremendous wave" in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP.
Madhav stated, "Right for the beginning, there have been a tremendous wave in favour of PM's leadership as well as his policies and programmes. Waves in polls are largely created by the opposition but here is a situation where the ruling party created the wave in its favour. It speaks volumes about his leadership and his programmes."
"We are very confident of getting more seats for BJP itself (than in 2014). Together with NDA allies, we will have a very comfortable situation," he added.
Most of the exit polls on television channels on Sunday projected the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance to retain power at the Centre with most of the pollsters giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi a clear majority again in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
Voting for the seventh phased Lok Sabha elections ended Sunday. Counting of votes will begin on May 23.
Keep yourself updated on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 with our round-the-clock coverage -- breaking news, updates, analyses et all. Happy reading....