Notwithstanding the various exit poll predictions, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of sweeping the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand.
"Let the news channels speculate about the outcome of the elections. We are confident of sweeping Jharkhand," the BJP's Jharkhand unit chief Raghubar Das told IANS.
"The BJP will alone win ten seats in the state," he added. Jharkhand has 14 Lok Sabha seats.
The different news channels, in their exit polls, have given seven to nine seats to the BJP and its ally, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), in Jharkhand.
The BJP had fought on 10 seats, and the JD-U on two seats in the state. BJP is confident of winning at least ten seats as well as of the victory of independent candidate and former assembly speaker Inder Singh Namdhari from Chatra, whom it indirectly supported.
The exit poll predictions give three seats each to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Congress.
Admitting to losing seats in the state, the Congress, however, questioned the BJP's claims.
"This time, the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) was divided in the election which may help the BJP. The BJP is however, dreaming," Congress leader Alok Dubey said, adding the party and the JMM will win more that half of the seats.
In the 2004 polls, the BJP had won only one seat and the Congress, JMM and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had won six, four and two seats respectively. One seat was won by the Communist Party of India (CPI). The BJP also lost its lone seat after sitting MP and former chief minister Babulal Marandi quit the party in 2006.
The Lok Sabha results are likely to decide the future politics of Jharkhand, and indicate whether the BJP will gain lost ground in the state. The party lost four Lok Sabha and four assembly by-elections in last three years in Jharkhand, which was once considered a stronghold of the party. In 1999, BJP had won 12 of the state's 14 seats.