All is fair in love and elections.
Since last night’s exit polls weren’t chaotic enough, here’s a new twist in the tale.
If you spent some time on X this morning, or you’re part of friendly family WhatsApp groups, you might have already watched this video.
It shows India Today anchors Rahul Kanwal and Rajdeep Sardesai with master pollster Pradeep Gupta of Axis My India sitting around a table. Shot from just below the table, Sardesai tells Gupta he needs to “look at these numbers again” because “it’s going to create a shock”. Gupta says he’s now getting “goosebumps”.
“Every state that you’re showing me is the opposite of what we’ve been hearing so far!” Sardesai says. “...We cannot afford to get this wrong. You’d better be careful with these numbers, Pradeep, because as Rahul says, this is going to create shockwaves…”
The conversation continues in this vein – shock, surprise, worries about numbers that will “create a lot of confusion”.
For the uninitiated, some exit polls predicted a closer call than expected for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. The party is predicted to win Rajasthan, while the Congress is favoured in Telangana and Chhattisgarh.
The video grew wings on social media. Some suggested the video was “leaked” to show the three men unable to come to terms with the exit polls.
If you weren’t quite buying the scriptedness of the video itself, congratulations. It was, in fact, an official video – marketing, if you will – that India Today shot.
Sardesai tweeted that the “level of idiocy is staggering”.
Hs tweet said: “A video put out from our official handle becomes a ‘leaked’ video with all kinds of bizarre insinuations!! It is a teaser promo for the exit poll where we are doing a bit of ‘over-acting’: itna toh samajhna chahiye doston...”
Oddly, he deleted it hours later.
But all’s fair in love and election season. In the words of the masterful Subramanian Swamy…
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