"The next 24 hours are important. Be alert and vigilant. Don't be afraid. You are fighting for the truth. Don't be disheartened by what the fake exit polls are propagating. Have faith in yourselves and the Congress. Your hard work will not be in vain, Jai Hindi," Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.Exit polls after the last day of voting for the national election on Sunday predicted 300-plus for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and 122 for the Congress and its allies. "Non-aligned" parties were given 114.
The same night, Priyanka Gandhi said in a message to party workers that they should not fall for "rumours" intended to make them drop their guard ahead of the counting of votes.
"My dear Congress workers, sisters and brothers... Don't let rumours and exit polls discourage you. This is being done just to break your determination. It is very important that you remain alert amid all this. Please continue to keep vigil outside strongrooms and counting centres. We are confident that our combined efforts will bear fruit," she said in the audio message.
Rahul Gandhi's "dare nahin (don't be afraid)" advice for party men comes as the Congress and other opposition parties allege attempts to "steal the mandate" by manipulating EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines). Since yesterday, leaders of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, BSP and others have kept a close watch on strongrooms where the vote machines are being stored ahead of Thursday's count.
In Uttar Pradesh, Congress workers sat overnight outside the EVM store rooms in Meerut and in Raebareli, the stronghold of the Gandhis from where Sonia Gandhi is seeking re-election.