New Delhi :  With most Congressmen in agreement with the pro-BJP/NDA direction of the exit polls for the 2014 general elections, even as they debate the various numbers indicated in these polls, the party has not given up its objective of blocking a Modi/BJP government after the results are out.

‘‘These polls themselves admit of a margin of error that could be quite substantial, and our realistic estimate is that if we can touch the 130-40 figure then we can certainly stop a Modi/BJP government from assuming power,” said a Congress general secretary in an informal conversation with journalists.

It was pointed out that only if the BJP/NDA crosses the 230 mark with its pre-poll allies, would the Congress be reconciled to the idea of sitting in the opposition. “Or else, we shall be certainly making all efforts to form a non-NDA alternative, and then every option is open,” he added.

Pointing out that there is a history of exit poll numbers going wrong on the counting day, the Congress leader said that those expecting the party to do badly would be in for a major surprise.

“The anti-Congress voices would be in for a surprise. We may be left behind in the media noise, but then the internal contradictions of the various surveys are also very significant, and tell us a lot about their credibility,” he added.

At the same time, the party leaders have already made it clear that there is no reason to blame the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for the party’s eventual performance, if it turns out like that, although it has been made clear that he would be the party’s choice for the prime minister’s post.

Union minister Kamal Nath made it clear that the “results will be based on government performance and Rahul Gandhi is not a part of the government” whereas another minister Jairam Ramesh, part of Gandhi’s core team of advisers, said: “He was an indefatigable campaigner. He held 125 rallies, went to every state. He brought the spirit to our campaign, and it was well thought out game plan that the party would not project a personality, alluding to rival BJP’s campaign being built around the persona of Narendra Modi, its prime ministerial candidate.”

Anil Sharma

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