Sunday, December 08, 2013

Why 3.6 may be better than a 4

As I type this, the 2013 assembly elections for the 4 Hindi heartland states are almost final.. and to sum it up, the final tally would be - a 3/4th+ majority for BJP in Rajasthan, a 2/3+ in MP, a 1/2+ (simple majority) in Chattisgarh, and a 32-33 out of 70 in Delhi. I call this a 3.6-0.4 for the BJP, the 0.4 being for the AAP. Here's my quick analysis

So, Is there a Modi wave ?

I surely think so for the following reasons, and I will start off with a rather "lighter one"

a)  For the past few months, Modi has been campaigning for a "Congress-mukt Bhaarat" .. Well, this election result has actually come pretty close to that in those 4 states ... 

b) Out of the 4 states, the place where BJP's chief ministerial candidate gave Modi the most "free-hand" was Rajasthan. Apparently Vasundhara even called upon the people to vote her to power so as to help Modi be the PM. There is no direct relation that a vote for BJP in a state election will help Modi for a National election, but indirectly I think it does speak volumes for Modi's popularity --> Congress decimated to ~10% seats

The continued denail by Media and other parties of this, is only going to help the BJP

c) So then, why did he not help get a simple majority in Delhi and a better performance in Chattisgarh ? Let me start off with Chattisgarh - of course, we cannot know what would have been the numbers had Modi not campaigned, or even if he were simply not declared the PM candidate before the election, so we don't know if Modi actually helped put the party just above the 45. Keep that apart, it is also quite likely that the remote areas of the state did not really have much of an impact. There were some media reports which said people in the remote parts of Chattisgarh (for example the tribals) hardly knew who Modi even was.

That I feel is not fully believable, and I believe the media is once again making the mistake of under estimating the tribals in terms of their connectivity to the Nation . We the media folks are the cultured folks and those in the forests are the uncultured folks mentality, where as the reality may quite well be that the tribals are much more patriotic and Hindu than the media folks themselves (bigger discussion for another day). What I believe has happened is a small impact (sympathy factor) of the naxal attack added to which might be some dirty games played by the Jogis (see my previous post) and natural anti-incumbency, may have prevented BJP from making huge gains

As for Delhi, what is interesting is the same media that predicted that the BJP will be third, before the Modi rally and Harshvardhan being made the CM candidate , don't even seem to remember all that.. hasn't Modi rather silently but surely helped changed the tide .. (I used "helped", since a huge chunk of the credit goes to the BJP worker and Dr Harshvardhan) .. as a case in point, see  (this one is from Oct 23 )

So now, what will be with Delhi ? As I type this Dr Harshvardhan has declared on a TV channel that he is not interested in staking claim with 32 out of 70 . I think that is a good strategy,  I have reasons, not revealing though.. and interestigly, I wonder why nobody is talking about AAP's opinion poll that predicted a 47 of 70 for them !!

And what about the "impact" on the National politics - well, I think I can sum it up in one sentence - It gives hope for Modi, BJP and the Nation, and the 3.6 vs a 4.0 also helps the BJP to not go complacent but to work harder !


Sunday, November 24, 2013

some random thoughts

This is part #4 of the series

With so many things "happening" every week, I thought I will write this in an FAQ format

1) So has or will Modi peak too early ?

I think he has started at the right time.. if anything it was may be a wee bit late. Assuming that Congress will play every trick in the book (and the ones which aren't even in the books) to counter, it may actually be useful to see how the attacks shape up too - earlier the better. And the momentum that will build up will be useful for and till May

2)  Isn't Modi's style of directly attacking the likes of ManMohan, Sonia, Rahul a deviation from the 'usual' BJP style of being much more 'decent' ?

In my opinion, this is the one single factor that has made Congress restless. 2004 elections saw BJP trying a 'positive campaign' - for one they were the one in power and hence naturally not in a position to talk about any ongoing Congress misrule. Secondly they perhaps thought that the mandate is with them, and hence playing it in a 'decent' way would good in the long term for India... I think the intentions were good, but it backfired. Or in other words, India wasn't ready for a "clean election campaign" (The clean part of course is subjective)

Though for slightly different reasons (including lack of clear leadership in BJP) 2009 too saw a not too aggressive BJP. As some one who had for the first a chance to vote during a general election in India, I remember the feeling - it was almost certainly useless as it was quite clear that it will be either the Congress or a third front (and as I have mentioned in previous posts, the fear of the third front helped the Congress.. and in 2014 it will help BJP)

And intentionally or not, the BJP leaders ended up giving an impression that they don't want to be aggressive enough to dethrone the Congress.. that they are content with being in power in a few states, and being the main opposition in Loksabha. Added to that was the reluctance to directly criticize ManMohan Singh (Note: Personally, I think after Nehru,  ManMohan has caused the biggest damage to India. He is no gentleman according to me)

Modi changed all that. And being not used to this, atleast for the last 10 years or so, Congress is very 'disturbed' !

3) What about the possibility of continued dirt throwing ?

Anyone reasonably familiar with all that has been happening for the last few years, and Congress' dirty tricks in general (by the way, hasn't it become much predominant with the Congress ever since the Italian lady took its control ? after all mafia running must be quite familiar to them) would naturally have expected all kinds of things being tried at Modi. Only time (upto May) can tell what will be thrown at him when, and what will be the impact

The immediate goal indeed would be to at least bring in a doubt in the voter's mind and to dampen the spirit of the volunteers. Interestingly though such "attacks" have a history of working in both ways - some times it has only increased some ones chances .. - the factors may be "Oh is that all you got against him" .. or the bad track record of the person or the party who does the mud throwing "Enemy of a thug is more likely to be righteous" logic..

A few interesting thoughts come to mind though - Congress must be repenting itself for having relentlessly attached Modi on the "riot" argument. If anything it helped him continue to grow in popularity and perhaps made him more and more thick skinned and aware of the games that Congress can play. It also earned him a bunch of 'converts' - once critical, but turned his "fans" when it turned out that most, if not all of the charges levelled against him were either fabricated (as in the case of Teesta training her witnesses) or just assertion by repetition ( like in the case of the "Modi did not call for help or the army immediately" argument, which was proven completely wrong)

If "illegal" accusation cannot work, then try "immoral".. but the common man so well trained by Congress  to "live with" illegal, it will be interesting to see how much even immoral would impact. Moreover, it will be interesting to imagine that there would be something 'immoral about Modi' that the Congress or some of his enemies would be in possession which they would not have used for a Gujarat election. And yet, anything is possible in India politics - wonder how many remember (late) Dilip Singh Judeo - the Prince, who rather chose to wash the feet of those who returned to Hinduism. He ended up such a big threat to Congress, the Church and the Christian Ajit Jogi, that they did a "sting" in Nov 2003.. and quoting from

Judeo led the BJP to victory in the 2003 Vidhan Sabha Elections and refrained from taking the Chair of Chief Minister of the state despite a wide campaign for the same from the Tribals of Chhatisgarh. In 2005, the Central Bureau of Investigation told the Indian Supreme Court that the bribe exposé was planned by Amit Jogi, the son of the then Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi, as a means to derive political mileage in favour of Ajit Jogi in upcoming elections.

The reader may draw his own imagination/conclusion

Monday, November 04, 2013

The long term impact

This is part #3 of the series and before I get into the main topic of this post,wanted to save these links

And so, what if after all this efforts, NaMo doesn't get the required numbers to be the PM ? In my opinion, he would have worked out a strategy as much as he would have worked out one if he were to be the PM.

Here are the three scenarios that I would think possible

Scenario 1: Modi may take the NDA (that goes to poll as a pre-poll alliance) to a number quite close to the required 272, and some potential allies (like Mamta Banerjee) may insist that they would support if it is some one else from BJP, and Modi may actually agree to it. Though one may find it hard to believe, I personally tend to think that this would be a scenario that Modi would be quite well prepared for.. in fact may be even wanting deep-within !! This gives him a perfect unselfish & for-the-party image that would make him grow even bigger in stature. Sonia Gandhi had done this in 2004 and though the situations are different, one cannot deny that she did become the darling at least of Congress workers. The impact of a sacrificing Modi on party workers and even others would be much big

It is also interesting to note that just for the sake of proving oneself to be "secular", some of these potential allies would say no to Modi and yes to other BJP leaders, even though in reality Modi may actually be more secular than others. Well, this is kind of similar to what I tend to believe in general - that there are many more staunch and agressive hindutvavadis outside the sangh parivar (though numbers may be small), but then the moment any of them speak up, they are labelled as sanghis or RSS wallahs and so on. In other words, RSS many times end up becoming the punching bag, and some times get "overrated" for capabilities which it actually lacks.Indeed, the real and hidden reason for such a behavior from some of the allies could be jealousy and fear - for such a growing tall leader

Scenario 2 : For whatever reason NDA including any potential new allies could not add up, and there is yet another coalition possible - Congress led or Congress outside support or even a third front one which is both non-Congress and non-BJP. In any of these scenarios, it would be an "ugly" alliance  - bad for India for a short term, but Modi would most likely use the time left for the fall of such a government to expand the BJP. 

A few years ago - may be it was after the 2007 election victory in Gujarat or so -some interviewer asked Modi about the prospect of being a National leader. He replied saying he would do what the party would ask him to.. and gave an example - if I am asked to go do ground work in a state where we are not yet strong, say for example Kerala, I would happily do that as a party worker. It clearly shows that at least subconsciously he was bothered that the party isn't strong in the South- mind you, this was when he was far from being a prospective National leader. Now that he is one, he must be experiencing the "pinch" of a lack of pan-India presence much more, and would surely be drawing up a strategy to change that. Exactly how he would do that- well, I can only say, will be interesting to see !

In the least, it is quite clear that Modi's very presence in the National scene has energized the party cadre and given the organizational strength and setup of a sangh-inspired party, it is quite likely that much of that would be converted into a energy needed to make the party grow

Scenario 3 : And finally what if he indeed becomes the PM ? Will it be an easy task, given that the pre-poll NDA may not have the numbers and newer allies are likely to be opportunistic and demanding .. Will he able to leave up to the expectations ?  This isn't an easy question, after all its a billion plus strong expectation ... But then, the way he has remained in power in Gujarat which ultimately is based on good performance overall,  it is quite likely that Modi may be able to put together a strategy by which he would remain the PM and the party would continue to grow, so much so that a general election 2019 may actually see the BJP get it much closer on its own

And this is worrying the opponent much more than anything else.. that the rise of Modi may not just mean a short dull period for them , but rather a wipe out atleast for 2 or 3 terms to come.. that explains the desperate attacks

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dhamma Sangha and the Buddha

As I get on with Part #2 (after #0 and #1) of my analysis, one apparent "contradiction" stands out. The RSS , which, like it or not is what has shaped Modi to a good extend of what he is, is quite against a personality cult. The Nation of Bhaarat indeed is raison d'être for the 'Sanghi' and what is "worshipped" (if at all) in the shakhas is the bhagawa dwaja and not any person . One might occasionally hear from a Sanghi that "Doctorji said so and so" or "Guruji did so and so" or "Thengadiji started so many organizations" etc, but it is indeed far from personality worship

So then how come the RSS "allowed" ( keep aside for now the RSS stand that we do not interfere in BJP decisions) brand Modi to flourish ? How about the kaaryakarta ? Well, the way I look it is using the Buddhist chant. For the BJP, the Sangha (organisational setup - the RSS and its sister groups) has traditionally been the strength.. as you keep hearing, it is a "cadre" based party. Oh yes, who else can pull off such half or one million strong rallies with such apparent "ease" in various parts of the country ? As for Dhamma, it has been ups and down.. It remains Nationalistic, but the core issues that the party stood for once - J & K, Ayodhya and UCC - aren't the driving factors. I would like to see those as along the Shruti/Smruthi separation in Hinduism.. Shruti remains eternal, and that would the BJP's commitment to "Nation First" and to a good extent "Political face of those who are not anti-Hindu or p-sec", and the Smruthi part - the issues of the day, keep changing.

But then, in a complex Nation like India, with such a multi-party system, and more so with the BJP failing to make a major impact in the South, it is quite evident that only the "Buddha" factor can get them closer to a critical mass. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had the personality impact (Note: A hard core hindutva person may have been not satisfied with Vajpayee's 6 years, but hopefully UPA's 9-10 years have brought him back to the realization that something is better than nothing.. and indeed Modi's tenure must be giving a much better hope than Vajpayee's).

And thats the same "gap" that Modi is filling in now, but in quite a non-Vajpayee fashion. I do not want to go into an indepth analysis of Modi's abilities, but with time, he has been proving how much of a genius he is - at least in the current complex political environment, and given BJP's natural limitations, he is perhaps doing the best he can and exceeding many people's expectations already. In fact his strength also seems to be his unpredictability at least for his critics (which mostly comes from a false image of Modi, which they themselves built for convenience)   . Almost every day, or at least every big rally that he attends, he gives some new thought out. From firmly saying I am a born Hindu and Nationalist, to "Sauchalaya before Devaalaya" (Note: he did not say "No devaalaya", simply set the "priority right" so to say) to effectively bringing forth Sardar Patel to the discussion ..... the list is growing

Diversion1: Interestingly "greatbong" has been running a series on Modi as well.. and his third post is out too !
Diversion2: An interesting article, from last year, but happened to see now.. interestingly I share the same birth-day as Sardar Patel :) 

And the way Modi is at it, by the time his critics ( media/Congress/p-secs/....) try to counter it, Modi would have moved on to the next .. And this is what is probably most irritating them and pushing them more towards "dirty tricks" - the latest trend seems to be to attribute to Modi (by way of twisting or sometimes completely fabricating) a statement that he did not make, and then calling him names !

Anyways , to sort of some it up, the need of the hour, even for RSS (as far its ambitions to see BJP as part of the next government) was a man who can withstand and move forward in such challenging circumstances. And the fact of the matter is that in how much the Sangh would have wanted the ideology to drive its cadres, the personality is very much needed and these factors are more often than not complementary to each other - as long as the personality is not selfish etc etc. In one of my future posts, I will perhaps dwell upon what long-term plan or atleast hope Modi may have in his mind - to put it in short, he is most likely using this also as a chance to re-energize BJP

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Can the numbers add up ?

Going back to my post in 2008 , the fundamental question is, will and if so why would the numbers be different this time for NDA ? Here is my take

2009 was a case were BJP (and perhaps NDA too) had many factors working against it - the projected PM candidate - Advani - was already getting into his old age and into Jinnah kind of controversies, there was still confusion on whether Modi was a contender, a fear that third front may become kingmaker (and a "last minute" swing towards UPA so that it can counter the third front in the wake of NDA being seen as having less possibility of getting closer to the 272, as compared to UPA).In 2004 too, there were factors working against the NDA - Vajpayee's health, and his "Hajpayee" image that made many of the core-sangh volunteers and supporters note vote and/or work towards BJP victory.. I tend to strongly believe that both in 2004 and the 2009, it is the lack of support from the pro-right volunteers and sympathizers that made the difference, and in 2009 it was worse than in 2004. In spite of this, in 2009 the NDA got the average of what I had predicted as best and worst- i.e close to 160

Things seem much more in order for the BJP in 2013 and the run up to 2014 - *assuming* that the Congress will not succeed in its dirty games that it often does in the run up to elections (that could be matter of another post).

I take some cues from this assessment -  and add a few of my own "theories".  One is that a few regional parties like AIADMK, possibly even the BJD will form post-poll alliance with NDA. Second is that there will be consolidation in Modi's favour that could, at least in some cases make it go beyond the maximum that BJP has won in particular state ever. Third, in "volatile" states like AP, one could see a potential atleast few numbers in favor of the NDA.. and it will count. Given all that, here is my chart - some numbers are carry over from my 2009 assessment, and I have added back many more states. Remember, the "max" may appear an exaggeration, but then at the end, we will take the average as well. Also, at least in some cases, the "max" considers a potential post-poll ally, multiplied with a probability factor for the same

State...........      Seats.................Min..............Max

AP ..................  42 ...................  12 ...............  22 ( TDP factor, perhaps even TRS)
Assam ............. 14 ...................   2 ...............    8 ( allies, tho' less likely)
Bihar ............... 40.................... 16................  30 ( Indeed , the jealour Nitish factor)
Chattisgarh.......11.....................  4..................  8
Delhi.................7......................2................... 4
Goa...................2......................0.................. 2
Gurjarat............26....................16................. 22 (The Gujarati pride factor, indeed)
Haryana............10......................4 .................. 6 (allies again)
HP......................4......................2 .................. 4 (I guess this is a very pro-Modi state)
Jharkand............14..................... 6...................10
J & K .................6 .................... 0 ................   2 ( NC factor, but probability is less)
Karnataka..........28.................... 10................ 18
Kerala  ..............20 ....................  0 ................   2
MP.....................29.....................16 ................24
Maharashtra...... 48.....................20................ 36 ( possible MNS or NCP !)
Orissa.................21......................6.................14 (BJD factor)
Tamil Nadu ...... 39 .................... 0 ..................30 (AIADMK, I feel a high probability factor)
Uttaranchal....... .5........................2................. 4
UP.......................80....................20................ 50 (indeed, the big one)
West Bengal ....  42...................   2 ............... 12 (Trinamool , but less probable)
Others ...............17 ..................   2 ...............   4

Total.................543 ............... 160..............340

Two points worth mentioning - one, the numbers are indeed an approximation and after all a prediction. Two, my 2009 min and max predicted were 112 and 212 - had a range of only 100. This time around the range is 180 ... That is quite explainable due to two factors - how the image of Modi will finally swing the votes in a National scenario when he is declared as PM candidate, is highly unpredictable. And two, the allies , pre-poll or post-poll are too volatile this time around as well.

With all that said, the average is working out to be a 250 !!  There is a small catch in this calculation - take for example AIADMK .. The average number that went to form the 250, is a 15 . For a moment, keep TN out - the average turns out to be 235 . Now, AIADMK (assuming it will win 30, which is quite likely) could either join, or not join .. and in the later scenario, make it a 265 !! .. TMC is the other party that could have a huge impact..

In other words the current NDA (including TDP) is likely to get (based on law of averages) around a 220 and the rest will depend on post poll alliances.

Post script: This part is posted on 2014 May 14. Just wanted see where and how BJP and NDA lost in 2004

Chng Ally

1999 2004
1999 2004
UP 29 10
0 1
Ukhnd Na 3 -16 Na 0 1
Bihar 23 5
18 6
Jhknd Na 1 -17 Na 0 -12
MP 29 25
0 0
Chtsgrh Na 10 6 Na 0
Mah 13 13 0 15 12 -3
Guj 20 14 -6 0 0
Raj 16 21 5 0 0
Kar 7 18 11 3 0 -3
AP 7 0 -7 29 5 -24
TN 4 0 -4 22 0 -22
Assm 2 2 0 0 0
Odisha 9 7 -2 10 11 1
Del 7 1 -6 0 0
Har 5 1 -4 5 0 -5
Pun 1 3 2 10 8 -2
HP 3 1 -2 0 0
JK 2 0 -2 4 0 -4
Goa 2 1 -1 0 0
WB 2 0 -2 8 1 -7
Kerala 0 0
0 0
Others 1 2 1

182 138 -44 124 44 -80

Saturday, September 28, 2013


As general elections 2008 was nearing, I had written a post on BJP's chances (or the lack there of) at . And now with GE 2014 nearing, it seems interesting to read what I had posted then. Let me start off by relating back to that post

* The backdrop almost remains the same - the fact is that BJP has its strong presence only in a few states unlike the Congress which has the de facto advantage since Indian independence of having a pan-India presence. The grand old party also has the natural advantage of not having much of an ideology, fitting quite well in to the "chalta hei" attitude which much of the India voters can themselves relate to, and finally a dynasty headed by people either white or mixed-white in a country where white-master brown-slave mentality unfortunately still remains !!

* What else has not changed is the fact that ultimately it is a number game.. and I believe the number of seats per state in that post hasn't changed since either. Now that was a pre-2009-election post.. what really happened in that election ?  NDA (including JDU) grabbed about 160 seats  (see,_2009 ) of which BJP got about 116 .. Interestingly my "min" was 112 and "max" was 212 and NDA ended almost exactly the midpoint (average) of that.. pat myself for my prophecy :)

* Neither Chiranjeevi nor Rajanikanth helped NDA last time, in fact the former drowned himself into Congress ever since and the later remains elusive. I had also mentioned that "If its anywhere near the minimum, then one might simply see the end of BJP in a few years, unless may be "NaMo" takes the "center"stage" . BJP has survived and NaMo has indeed taken center stage. Though not the "traditional" bottom-up way that perhaps an Advani came up, I think in this case the top-down is fine because Modi after all is a "state leader" and not a 'stateless' leader as Arun Shourie put it , and secondly, Modi has been able to influence the "bottom" most ranks of the party.

So now, how do I want to view GE 2014 ? and what do I want to write about ? First and foremost, I feel that there has been a general rejuvenation among the pro-right in India - be it the BJP worker, or the "outside" supporter. I feel the same myself to a bit and hope to get back to blogging habit - again mostly for the "self satisfaction" :)

And so this post is #zero of a series that I hope to take up ! And so, what do I think this time ? Yes or No or maybe for NDA ?  Will GE2014 be a turning point in the history of India , from a long term perspective ? What should perhaps BJP be doing, state by state in order to "grab power" and "grow forever" ! My thoughts to follow !!!