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Dravidian Parties dismiss exit poll predictions

Across various platforms, the exit polls had predicted a clear mandate in the favour of NDA nationally, and a clear edge for the DMK—which is in alliance with he Indian National Congress—in Tamil Nadu.

, ET Bureau|
May 20, 2019, 02.38 PM IST
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MK Stalin
CHENNAI: Dravidian party chiefs in Tamil Nadu dismissed the exit poll predictions released on Sunday evening, asserting that the real mandate of the people will become apparent after Thursday this week, when the Election Commission of India will put out the poll results.

Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, DMK chief MK Stalin said his party does allot any credence to the poll predictions. “As our leader Kalaignar(monicker for late DMK leader M Karunanidhi) has taught us, we will wait for the official results,” he said. Questioned about opposition leaders in dialogue, Stalin said his party will wait for the final results. Palaniswami said the exit polls were an imposition of opinion and does not carry the people’s mandate.

Across various platforms, the exit polls had predicted a clear mandate in the favour of NDA nationally, and a clear edge for the DMK—which is in alliance with he Indian National Congress—in Tamil Nadu.

Palaniswami, to justify his distrust of exit polls, quoted the experience of the experience after May 2016 Assembly elections, when a victory for the DMK was projected but the results were the opposite with J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK sweeping to power for a rare, second consecutive term.

The DMK continues in alliance with the Congress after its tie-up with the national party for the 2016 Assembly elections. The BJP, which had struck a multi-party alliance without any Dravidian party in 2014, is part of an AIADMK-led front for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Perceived to ride an anti-BJP sentiment in Tamil Nadu, exit polls have predicted that the DMK will increase its tally significantly from nought to a number over 25 seats while the AIADMK, which won 37 seats in 2014, will see a large reduction in people’s favour to the party.

For both parties, the results of the 22-seat bypolls are far more significant. Edappadi Palaniswami is short of majority in the Assembly by five seats. Considering fence-sitters and Dhinakaran loyalists in the AIADMK, Palaniswami needs to win at least eight seats for a clear victory to sustain his government till 2021.
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