Stop exit polls, demands Left Front
Kolkata: Incensed with exit polls that predict the end of its 34-year reign in West Bengal, the Left Front on Thursday demanded that the Election Commission consider stopping such "contract news".
It claimed the state`s ruling combine would bounce back to power when the vote count is done on Friday, getting close to the 199 seats it won in the 294-member Assembly in 2001.
"We will win close to 199 seats that we got in 2001 when all exit and opinion polls had predicted our fall," Left Front chairman Biman Bose told mediapersons here after a meeting of the coalition.
Citing the wrong predictions of exit polls in 2001, Bose dubbed such surveys as "conspiracies" to break the confidence of the Left Front counting agents.
"Once the Electronic Voting Machines are unlocked, the result will show a massive win for the Left Front," said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader.
Accusing the media of "creating terror", Bose said: "They are trying to vitiate the atmosphere. May be, it is part of some conspiracy hatched by the opposition. Rumours are also being spread through a whisper campaign that there will be trouble on the day of the vote count Friday. Even guardians are thinking of not sending children to school."
"All Left Front partners feel the media is creating terror. The exit polls are creating chaos...damaging the peace and tranquility of the state and people. The Election Commission should think seriously about stopping this nuisance," he said.
Alleging that the "agents of trouble" were active, Bose urged people to remain united in defeating the grand designs of such forces.
Bose claimed the media was "earning money" out of these exit and opinion polls. "In lieu of money, they have entered into a contract with the opposition to paint a bad picture for the Left Front."
Pooh poohing such surveys, he said even the largest of samples cover less than one percent of the electorate. "And why should the voters reveal their choice to surveyors? After all, in India voting is through secret ballot. What these media people are projecting is divorced from reality."
"We will win tomorrow. The Left Front will meet at 4.30 pm. Then all Left Front partners will jointly come before you," he said, appearing confident.
The six-phase assembly polls, generally regarded as the stiffest challenge for the Left Front that has been ruling the state uninterruptedly since 1977, were held between April 18 and May 10.
Over 84 percent of the more than 56 million voters exercised their franchise, where the opposition Trinamool Congress-Congress-Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) alliance is making a determined charge to snatch power.
The votes will be counted in 87 centres spread over all the 19 districts from 8 a.m. Friday.
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