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Every election is a popularity test for Modi?

People were glued to news channels looking at the prediction of the exit polls for each state – the aggregate of different polls. Who will win Uttar Pradesh the state which has largest 403 assembly seats? A party will have to win 202 seats for attaining majority. The BJP gets 211 according to the poll of polls – that means it will form the government. Mayawati is placed third in all surveys. Each and every exit poll is giving huge lead to BJP in all states; whereas people on social network have their own opinion. Anyway, these are just speculations as vote counting will decide the fate of political parties in respective states.

Meanwhile, there are two interesting factors to be kept in mind while watching these exit polls. One, the money that is sponsored and paid for showing exit polls in favour of one party, and other one is ‘Satta’ Bazaar that is influencing people to bet more on certain party in association with TV channel telecast on exit polls. Television channels began broadcasting exit polls for the five states that have voted. The picture for Uttar Pradesh is the BJP is ahead, based on an aggregate of the polls – whereas in Punjab, it’s a very close call with one poll forecasting a perfect tie for the Congress and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. Uttarakhand has definitively picked BJP, according to most of the polls. The party appears to have retained Goa; Manipur’s decision is not clearer with the exit polls – one shows the Congress retaining power in the state, another show that people are switching towards BJP.

UP is India’s largest state with 138 million voters and has a strong clout in the Upper House of Parliament, where the ruling BJP alliance is in minority, which has been proving to be a handicap for the government in pushing many of its reformist policies. Bookies in the ‘Satta’ Bazaar are predicting a hung assembly, with the BJP and the Samajwadi Party-Congress coalition seen to be finishing neck to neck. After the Reserve Bank of India’s money policy review, state elections results will be the next big risk event for the domestic equity market. Market watchers say the outcome of the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh could prove to be a big trigger for the market in the near term. The state had voted in seven phases beginning from February 11. Some bookies also stated that the BJP and the SP coalition winning 130 seats in the 403-member UP Assembly are pegged at 30 paise on every rupee bet. The higher the odds, the lower are the chances of a party winning that many seats.

Apart from ‘Satta’ Bazaar, there are many private bookies and gambling dens, who are sponsors to various news sources. The predictions are made for gaining business in terms of revenue and TRP, if you see in the past two years, the BJP has not been faring too well in the state elections, with the party facing debacles in key power centres like Bihar and Delhi. Despite this, bookies played it well, and now they are suggesting what they have to do. If we evaluate and see the people’s mood in UP, then it’s the SP-Congress alliance is a little ahead of the BJP, and not neck to neck. There is a very high likelihood that the entire Muslim vote share will get transferred to the SP and the Congress where it is in the fray, because they still think Mayawati is the sub optimal choice for them. A hung House with no single political party with an absolute majority might result in newer power equations and horse-trading.

The survey conducted by these so called agencies and channels are based on interviewing registered voters. Small section of voters participates in such surveys hence they are never accurate. Meanwhile, BJP is very much confident in forming its government. Mayawati is still silent and waiting for results. Over enthusiastic Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav declared that he cannot rule out seeking a partnership with Mayawati, if his alliance with the Congress falls short. Recalling the 1993 UP Assembly elections, when the two parties had formed alliance for contesting election, then BSP chief Kanshi Ram and Mulayam Singh Yadav finalized the formula to share 425 seats. Kanshi Ram’s vision was clear. Both the parties wanted to keep BJP away from Uttar Pradesh and they succeeded. In 1993, the BSP had contested 164 seats and won 67 while the SP had contested 256 seats winning 109 seats. The government was formed with Mulayam as the chief minister. The relationship, however, later soured and the BSP had withdrawn support. She went on to form the government with the help of the BJP in 1995. Now, the same situation has arisen, if BJP has to be shunted out of UP, then these political parties may come together.

Moreover, for BJP, the most important thing is to win more seats than actually forming the government which would enable the party to send more MPs to Rajya Sabha and secure majority. The election results will be also used to measure Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and his chances of returning for a second term in 2019. The BJP’s performance will also be seen as a referendum on the PM’s abrupt decision in November to ban high-denomination notes to crackdown corruption and tax evasion. Let’s see, what has been decided for these political parties. Accept the will of the people…….’Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’.

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Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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