Saturday, April 26, 2014

Those last minute 'stop-modi' efforts

As I pen this on Apr 26, still 20 days to go for the results, elections are over for 349 seats. They are yet to be done for 194 seats (about 36%) -  AP (42) , Gujarat (26) , UP (47), Bihar (20), WB (32), Punjab (13) and the rest (14)

In short, the battle is far from over. And interestingly enough, the stop-Modi efforts has only gotten stronger. Be it reported booth rigging in many places, deletion of voters names (in Maharashtra for example), the multi-level attack on Modi and Gujarat ( RSVP + the likes of Chidambaram et al and then the so called "intellectuals" and even college principals and the Dawood-funded bollywood) or the usual twists and turns that Media gives to news.

There are also reports of Minority consolidation, the kind that does the 'strategic voting' to defeat BJP . And then there are reports of the Congress hoping to bag about 140 seats (based on 'internal surveys' which are nothing but local congress committees claiming they will win this many seats) and tying up with "the others" to stop Modi

Can the BJP campaign managers and Modi withstand this onslaught ? I think they are trying their best, but what I am more worried is the potential complacency that the voter might fall into. Recently I heard a friend of mine, who would have voted for BJP, but did not succeed in getting the voter id, say "NDTV has predicted 275 seats for NDA. Cool".

If he had genuinely tried for the voter card, I do not blame him for not voting, but yet, what I am worried is the potential sit-back attitude that the pro-Modi camp may suffer from. Modi himself in a recent campaign speech spelt it out quite clearly - the elections that are over, has ensured that UPA will not come back to power, but the elections that remain will decide how strong an NDA will come to power.

That said, and hoping that Apr 30, May 7 and May 12 will see a renewed push to help BJP cross the 220, I want to go back to the latest NDTV opinion poll and poke a few holes. The table below is from

Note that somehow Shivsena's predicted 15 seats (and hence NDA 37 out of 48 in Maharashtra) did not get added to the chart, so make that correction. Now, I want to point out a few interesting facts

1) In Mar opinion poll, NDTV had given BJP 20 seats in Karnataka... In April they have dropped it to 12 .. It looks like they saw some other opinion polls and realized that what they have predicted is way outside the trends others had predicted and made the correction.. So which one is the genuine one and which one is the intentional error ?

2) But in spite of that reduction of 8, the BJP tally itself has been predicted to increase from 212 or so to 226 between Mar and April... and this despite hardly any change in prediction for UP and Bihar.. It looks like these have been "readjusted" elsewhere..

Frankly, it appears as some sort of cook up, just to show that NDA is crossing the 272 mark - why would that be ? Either to claim that we were the only channel which predicted a 272+ (and in the event of an NDA closer to 230, they can always fall back to their Mar opinion poll !). Or, I suspect that Congress funded this to create a false impression that all that is needed is done, and the BJP worker can now relax..

Some of the numbers look too good to be true to me.. For example, NDA bagging 37 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra.. (BJP to win 19 out of 24 seats that it will contest). 7 seats in Orissa for BJP ?! 12 seats in Jharkhand ? Indeed the 50+ in UP is also a number that one will have to cross his fingers about. In seemandhra its predicting 3 seats for BJP, but its contesting itself only in 3 seats.. a 100% winnability ?!

There are however a few states where I tend to believe that the numbers for NDA may be slightly better than what is predicted in the chart. TN for example, predicts 0 for BJP.. ground reports and reports in Tamil media suggest BJP may bag Kanyakumari and Coimbatore .. I also have my fingers crossed about Thiruvananthapuram. In Karnataka too, I am hoping that the 12 moves up to a 15 at least..

But these ones and twos will not be much of a compensation for any major slip down from the predicted numbers in any other state.. For example if UP NDA tally goes closer to 40.. or if Bihar tally goes below 20 or the Maharashtra tally goes below 30, it will bad time for NDA. In fact this election is still such a cliff hanger that bad news from any one of these high-hope states can upset the NDA chances.  And in this context, one can understand why the anti-Modi crowd is trying every game in the book and has not given up yet

Personally I am still willing to bet only 250 seats for NDA ( 212 for BJP and 38 for allies) in the current scenario. But a smart handling of the remaining contest, and rising up of the voters above petty considerations and voting for a stable NDA govt, might see the BJP cross the Tsunami mark of 230.. who knows ? I wish them a 232 !! 


Anonymous said...

As per NDTV it is 275 NDA and 111 UPA .. It is interesting to note where the "others" 157 are coming from:

TMC - 30 ; Left - 22
ADMK - 22 ; DMK - 14
SP 14 ; BSP 10
BJD 13 ;
YSR 9 ; TRS 8
Oth 6

Assuming a case where NDA doesn't make it to the 275, which are the parties likely to support NDA (possibly a non-Modi PM) ? May be TRS, BJD, ADMK .. thats like 44 . So NDA has to be get at least 230-240 to stay in the game.

This Math also tells that there are 6 states where BJP has to start making its impact, if in the long term, it has to maintain a pan-India presence - Kerala, TN, Seemandhra, Telengana , WB and Odisha

drisyadrisya said...

A few more thoughts after this post

1) NDTV had predicted 16 seats for BJP in Karnataka, in the previous poll.. May be they started off with a 20 and immediately corrected to a 16.. and then in April, to a 12.

Karnataka assembly polls saw BJP get only 40 of the 224 seats and by that ratio, it shud get exactly 5 seats of the 28 LS seats. Add KJP and Sriramulu back, another 2 seats - thats like 7 .. The state BJP govt had messed up so bad that the anti-incumbency on that has not yet dies down.. and added is the fact that the congress state leaders put in all out efforts for this loksabha elections (right after the polls, they increased bus charge, started power cuts.. how cunning). In spite of that the Modi-factor and the general feeling of the Kannadigas to vote for BJP at the center may actually get BJP to twice that 7 number - to 14 . That is my hope

2) Between Mar and April, one state where NDTV majorly added numbers for BJP is Odisha. From a 0 to 7. It is true that the vote share for BJP has been increasing in Odisha, but it is not yet clear if they will actually translate into votes

3) On the ground feedback from TN elections from Apr 24 actually has been quite positive for NDA. The increased voting percentage and the fact that a lot of youth seems to have voted for NDA, have made many see a possible 10-12 kind of number for NDA. Some have even gone to the extend of predicting 20 - though tough, even that is not entirely impossible.. and that would be creating history in TN

4) In Bengal too, there is an increasing buzz around BJP.. predictions of a vote share close to 15-20% . Some have predicted a shift of the formerly congress votes to BJP. Some have even predicted a shift of the left votes to BJP in an attempt to reduce the TMC numbers. It will be very very interesting if BJP gets a 5-10 kind of number in WB

5) Maharashtra, I saw a chart posted by some one on twitter where he had classfies all 48 constituencies based on chance of winning.. and it looked like 33 had > 50% chance. So though NDTVs 37 may be a bit on the optimistic side, a 32-33 sounds not impossible

6) Having said all that, UP is still the key.. A jump of seats from 10 to 50 sounds too good to be true.. but that is what Amit Shah has been claiming.. and he for one, is not known to blabber just for the sake of it. Some have even gone on to predict 56-60, but that sounds a bit too far stretched.

So while it is still not impossible for BJP to hit a 232, I still would like to keep it 216 .. with a + or - 16 margin !