The Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), poll strategist group working closely with the Trinamool Congress for the 2021 assembly elections, has rubbished viral screenshots showing an alleged leaked internal survey predicting a win for Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Suvendu Adhikari from the Nandigram constituency.
Nandigram has been termed as the 'battle royale' of the West Bengal assembly elections this year, with TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee contesting the seat against BJP's Suvendu Adhikari, an aide turned rival. Both Banerjee and Adhikari were instrumental in overthrowing the Left government of Bengal in 2011 by swinging votes from Nandigram.
In a tweet, the verified handle of IPAC termed the screenshot projecting BJP will win 23 seats while TMC will win 5 seats in phase 2, as fake.
The screenshot appears to be an image of a computer screen featuring a letter addressed to poll strategist and founder of IPAC Prashant Kishor. It contains a summary report of the phase 2 survey of the Bengal polls that will happen on April 1.
The viral screenshot highlights the Nandigram constituency and BJP as the projected winners in the same.
I-PAC tweeted the screenshot, stating, "Facing imminent defeat, @BJP4Bengal has now gone down to the level of using FAKE surveys in the name of I-PAC to keep the morale of their workers up!!"
The second phase of elections in Bengal on April 1 will see polling in 30 assembly constituencies across four districts - Bankura, West Midnapore, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas.
The letter detailing the survey has been undersigned to Pratik Jain, co-founder and director of I-PAC. Jain took to Twitter to rubbish the screenshot predicting Suvendu Adhikari's win at Nandigram. The same was corroborated to BOOM by a senior political strategist from I-PAC.
Jain also said that the letter misspelled his name as 'Prateek' instead of 'Pratik'.
The poll strategists have also denied another circular detailing a 'current situation analysis' of Nandigram constituency and the vote share expected. The circular, on the letterhead of I-PAC, claims that Suvendu Adhikari will have an average of 52 per cent of vote share and Mamata Banerjee will be at 42 per cent. It also breaks down the major causes for the vote share to increasing voter turnout and Hindu-Muslim polarisation.
Both the circular and the screenshot are viral on Twitter and Facebook.