Axis My India exit poll didn’t predict Congress will ‘win more seats in Tamil Nadu than contested’

By: Rahul Adhikari
June 2 2024

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Axis My India exit poll didn’t predict Congress will ‘win more seats in Tamil Nadu than contested’

Social media posts claim My India Axis exit poll predicted Congress alone will get 13-15 seats in Tamil Nadu. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The viral image depicts the projected seat tally of the entire INDIA alliance in Tamil Nadu, excluding the DMK, not just the Congress party.

Claim ID c84b78d2

What is the claim?

A screenshot of a broadcast by the news channel Aaj Tak has been circulating on social media, claiming that it depicts an Axis My India exit poll predicting a tally of 13-15 seats for the Congress party in Tamil Nadu—an Indian state in which the party contested only nine seats in the recently concluded Indian general election.

The viral snapshot shows the exit poll figures for Tamil Nadu as follows:

·       Total seats: 39

·       BJP+: Expected to secure 2-4 seats

·       Congress+: Projected to attain 13-15 seats

·       DMK: Expected to get 20-22 seats

·       AIADMK: Projected to win 0-2 seats

Several users shared this post on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram. One such user wrote: “BIG BREAKING Tamil Nadu See the reality of Narendra Modi's Godi Media Exit Poll  👇😂 In Tamil Nadu the Indian National Congress is contesting on 9/39 seats but the Godi Media is giving the Cong 13-15 / 39 seats #ExitPoll.” Archived versions of similar posts can be found here, here, and here.

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is misleading. The term “Congress+” in the graphic indicates the seats to be won by the INDIA bloc, including the Congress but excluding DMK. The latter’s predicted seats are separately mentioned in the exit poll results graphic.

How did we find the truth?

We found a video on the exit poll results for Tamil Nadu published by Aaj Tak (archive here) on June 1. According to the results, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is projected to win 2-4 seats in Tamil Nadu, the INDIA bloc (including the DMK) to secure 33-37 seats, and AIADMK to secure 0-2 seats. In the graphic, this is shown as Congress+ (13-15 seats) and DMK (20-22 seats).

While discussing the results, news anchor Anjana Om Kashyap specifically mentioned that the INDIA bloc is expected to get 33-37 seats, not Congress alone. Furthermore, they mentioned that the vote share of the INDIA bloc is 46 percent, including Congress votes.

We noted that when the graphic in question was shown on the screen, NDA was mentioned as BJP+, indicating the alliance led by the party. For the INDIA bloc, the results card divided the seats and separately showed the ruling party DMK's seats and the rest of the alliance's seats.

The term "Congress+" in the graphic refers to seats projected for INDIA bloc parties except DMK, as their seat count was mentioned separately.

INDIA bloc seat sharing in Tamil Nadu

The INDIA bloc contested all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu. The ruling party, DMK, contested 22 seats (including one under the Rising Sun symbol by KDMK), while Congress contested nine seats. VC, CPI, and CPIM each contested two seats, and IUML and MDMK each contested one seat. Exit poll results by Axis My India project DMK to win 20-22 of the 22 seats they contested, with the rest of the alliance expected to win 12-15 of the 17 seats they contested.

Therefore, it is clear that the projection of seats in the viral image was not only for Congress; it represented the expected seat count for the INDIA bloc, excluding DMK’s total. 

The viral screenshot

We found that the screenshot was taken from a video published by Aaj Tak (archive here) on June 1. In the video, anchors Anjana Om Kashyap and Sudhir Chaudhary were discussing exit poll results. Although the graphic displayed results for Tamil Nadu, the anchors were actually discussing results for Kerala. The screenshot was captured at the 0:28 mark of the video.

An image comparison between the viral screenshot and the original screengrab. (Source: X/YouTube/Modified by Logically Facts)

We noticed that for Kerala and Tamil Nadu, alliance seats were labeled as "Congress+" and "BJP+," but in Karnataka and other states where separate seat counts for Congress or BJP were shown, the "+" sign was not used. This indicates that the "+" sign denotes an alliance.

Axis My India is a market research and public opinion polling agency that collaborates with the India Today group to publish exit poll results after each election in India.

India Today has also published an article on the Axis My India exit poll results for Tamil Nadu.

The verdict

A viral screenshot falsely claims that the Axis My India exit poll predicted 13-15 seats for the Congress in Tamil Nadu, despite the party contesting only nine seats in the state. The actual seat count in the viral image represents the expected tally of Congress and its ally parties, excluding the DMK. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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