Congress Reverses Decision, INDIA Bloc to Participate in Exit Poll Debates

New Delhi: The Congress has reversed its earlier decision to avoid participating in exit poll debates. Following a meeting with allies of the INDIA bloc, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge announced that the alliance would engage in the debates, predicting a victory of no less than 295 seats. Initially, Kharge had estimated Congress would secure 128 seats, but this figure was revised after discussions with allies.

The meeting, held at Kharge’s residence, included all INDIA bloc parties except Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. Party spokesperson Pawan Khera stated on X (formerly Twitter) that the INDIA parties decided to expose the BJP and its ecosystem on the prefixed exit polls. The consensus led to the decision for all INDIA parties to participate in the evening’s exit poll debates.

Previously, Congress had opted to stay away from the “slugfest” of exit polls, considering it unproductive speculation. This decision had drawn criticism from the BJP, with leaders like Amit Shah and JP Nadda suggesting that Congress was conceding defeat.

In response to BJP’s criticism, Shah had posted on X implying Congress was avoiding the exit polls due to an anticipated defeat. Nadda accused Congress of immaturity and lacking the expected behavior of a major political party.

Post the opposition meeting, Congress outlined guidelines for candidates and party workers for the counting process, and plans to meet with the Election Commission to ensure proper procedures are followed. Kharge emphasized the unity of the INDIA bloc, dispelling any notions of division among the allies.

Earlier…: The Congress has declared its decision to refrain from participating in any Lok Sabha exit poll debates on television. According to Pawan Khera, the party’s spokesperson and media department chairperson, Congress prefers not to engage in speculative discussions or ratings-driven confrontations.

Khera emphasized that the votes have been cast and the outcome is already determined. “The results will be announced on June 4th. Until then, we see no reason to engage in speculation and TRP-driven slugfests,” he stated in a message shared on X.

“The Indian National Congress will not take part in debates on exit polls. The aim of any debate should be to inform the public. We will gladly join discussions from June 4th onwards,” Khera added in his statement.

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