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Friday, April 24, 2009

Phase Two trends


As usual I want to repeat that these are not my conclusions but those of pollsters who have conducted surveys on the ground. I will desist from going into figures (because they can go so horribly wrong in four and five cornered contests) and stick to broad trends. The idea is not to contribute to the satta market but to try and make sense of electoral behaviour.

Phase 2 has been very good for the BJP and its allies, good for BSP, not so good for the Congress and somewhat disastrous for the so-called Fourth Front.

These are the reported trends from the states:

  • Big setback for the Congress in Assam. Gains for the BJP-AGP alliance.
  • In coastal Andhra and Rayalseema, the Congress performed significantly better than it did in Telengana (where it faces a rout). However, there is likely to be a sharp dip in the Congress Lok Sabha tally. It is unlikely to be near the half-way mark of the 42 seats. Chiranjeevi has done quite well.
  • The BJP appears to have swept Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Its MP tally may be better than 2004.
  • In Karnataka, BJP appears to have done as well as in 2004. But there are non-quantitative reports of the BJP not doing so well in Bangalore.
  • Although BSP appears well ahead in Phase 2 constituencies that polled in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has done very well in the seats adjoining Amethi and Rae Barely. The BJP has the upper hand in only a couple of places. The SP is likely to see a fall from its 2004 tally.
  • Bad news for the Lalu-Paswan alliance in Bihar. The BJP-JD(U) alliance seems to be coasting to a big victory.
  • Congress has done well in Orissa. The BJD will suffer in the Lok Sabha. By implication, there is a question mark over its ability to secure a clear majority in the Assembly.
  • Small losses for the Congress-NCP in Maharashtra.

The big question after Phase 2: can Congress retain its status as the largest party in the Lok Sabha? I would prefer to not speculate and leave it to the final results. But the bush telegraph has started buzzing in Delhi.

31 comments:

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

I thought one of the significant takes of Phase II were the extremely low turnout of 40% in Amethi where the Gandhi bahu / behen / beti - put in their best ...

But overall I agree in these 4 cornered contest, who is taking what out and from whom is diff. I do not share your optimism on Chiranjeevi's role - surely not as a winner but more as a spoiler..

Ajay said...

Maha should certainly get better results for BJP-SS,

ayush said...

i am seeing a cong tally very close to 100 and a very distinct possibility or reaching double figures , in such a scenario a 3rd front Govt supported by the congress from outside is a very real and dreadful possibility

parasuram81 said...

Swapanda..Firstly hats off to u for a balanced analysis,however broad the trends u stated..I have heard that BJP in A.P has put in huge resources and effort on only some constituences where they r absolutely certain on winnablity so dont u think NJP has a chance of 5,6 seats in A.P,ur thoughts plz..

Bhavananda said...

Dear Swapan da,
Do you remember in your previous posts (In cold blood/Navin blow) you mentioned that Naveen's move to ditch BJP was very well calculated and somewhat "brilliant"? This is turning out to be not the case. How do you reflect back on your statement?

Swapan Dasgupta said...

My reply to parasuram81:

There are two views coming out of Orissa: the quantitative view which I have narrated and the perception of political observers.

Those who have been involved in the campaign say that the BJD didn't do too well in Phase 1 but pulled out all the stops in Phase 2. The BJD's focus is the Assembly where it may come within striking distance of a clear majority. The LS seats are a different ball game altogether.

The quantitative analysis doesn't share this optimism. It feels that the Congress, which ran a low key campaign but has a core vote of 38 to 40 per cent, will benefit from the BJD-BJP spat.

I also get the feeling that in case the BJD fails to get a majority in the Assembly, Naveen will ally with the Congress. If he does so it will be suicidal for him. He will have vacated the entire non-Congress space to the BJP.

Anyway, let us wait for the May 16 results. As someone said, "Naveen will either be a hero or a zero."

parasuram81 said...

Swapanda..looks like u replied to another question not mine ..plz reply to mine too on A.P trends..cheers!

Umashankar Das said...

Dear Swapan,
Regarding your comments on Orissa in phase 2. I was just thinking, , that if congress did well, it will be fair to assume it will get more than 5 seats out of the 11 which went into polls.

Now, this number is hard to justify. I'm thinking you're posting GVLNR's reports. That might favour a post-poll formation for BJP.

I'm a BJP supporter. BUt, not a blind one. Seriously, I know at least 4 seats (Cuttack, Bhubaneswar,Puri,Balasore) where there is no chance for congress. that leaves 7 for congress should get 6. That sounds impossible to me.

Anonymous said...

Swapanda, one reason why BJD Congress govt in Orissa will be prone to problems is that Cong has also done well in the assembly elections. If say BJD gets 65 seats and Cong gets 50 55, seats, then they are almost equals and BJD will have to give up a lot of power.
Also, Congress has very clear chance of coming to power on its own in the next election, why would it play second fiddle to BJD? They might do so because the Congress high command would want them to but there will be always be oneupmanship between them.

Either way BJD's future is not very bright.

ajay2 said...

I am hearing totally contradictory reports about the BJP performance in Orissa - some say the BJP faces a total rout (Lok Sabha and State Legislature) and some say the BJP might actually end up doing fairly well, with a good number of seats in both. What's your opinion? Will the BJP get enough seats to force Naveen to get back with it to form the next government in Orissa? And how badly will this affect the NDA's chances at Delhi?

In essence, what is the BJPs vote share / standing in Orissa on its own, without the BJD?

Harsh said...

So Swapan,
What would it take to keep out opportunists like most regional parties with little or no views on national security or foreign policy out of the election game.Dont you think the BJP and the Congress should institute a bipartisan approach to it,say for instance educating voters about the on benefits of a national party being in power on its own rather than being propped by regional satraps.

Ronny said...

Hi Swapan
Don't you think the BJP should have campaigned more aggressively in South and North Calcutta to target the anti-Mamata, anti-Left middle class vote. Why does the BJP neglect Bengal completely? The Congress has a presence in more states than the BJP has. Isn't the BJP putting all its eggs in one basket?

Ronnie said...

Hi Swapan
Don't you think the BJP should have campaigned more aggressively in South and North Calcutta to target the anti-Mamata, anti-Left middle class vote. Why does the BJP neglect Bengal completely? The Congress has a presence in more states than the BJP has. Isn't the BJP putting all its eggs in one basket?

Swapan Dasgupta said...

Sorry parasuram81, my reply was to Bhavananda. I haven't followed the AP campaign in such detail.

Swapan Dasgupta said...

Re: Ronnie's observation on BJP in Bengal. Yes, I agree that the BJP is not doing enough. But the onus of doing political work lies with the local units. The Central party can at best help; it can't substitute for local initiative.

Anonymous said...

Swapanda,

Even the BJD would know that allying with the Congress is political suicide in the long run. Wont that knowledge make him cme back to the NDA - especially if the NDA rather then the UPA is better placed after May 16 ?

ramana said...

Swapanda

Thanks for posting these trends.

Has the suggestion, that Modiji will become the deputy PM if BJP is elected on its own, had any affect ?

(Were the comments made after Psase II, if so, sorry my bad)

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Abt South Kolkata - the word I hear is that even diehard Congress supporters and many Trinamool supporters will vote for Left Front candidate Rabin Deb to teach the lady a lesson for Singur. Let's see how this strategy works.

About BJP in Bengal - they simply have not taken advantage of the issues dogging the state. Lets see what it could have done to get the urban voter:

1. City is reeling under pollution from unlicensed 3 wheelers using adulterated fuel "kata tel". The city has the highest incidence of lung cancer because of this. The BJP could have gone hammer and tongs and made it an issue - making BENGAL GREEN - a concept which urban voters can understand.

2. During the agitation of Taslima Nasreen - muslim mobs held the city to ransom - children were stuck in schools - without food / water. Where was BJP that day - to help the kids in school, to help the parents. They were not in sight. Which means - BJP cannot help us in times when we need - there is no "cadre" base at all.

3. In pockets of Bengal, there have been stories of horror that has made it even to mainstream newspapers - which is a rarity. For eg: beheading of a man for marrying a Muslim, being burnt for marrying a Muslim. Where was BJP - have they gone to the family of the slain men and tried to assuage them or help them fight the case and see to it that the perpetrators are jailed.

4. BJP media cell sucks in Bengal and there are no speakers 1/10 the calibre of MODI. There is no issue they highlight.

5. The declining and precarious finances of Bengal - not highlighted. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh - what proportion it has reached - not highlighted. There has to be fear too that needs to be stoked into the hearts and minds of voters - by keeping quiet - it does not work.

6. All hoardings of BJP in Kolkata carry figures of central leadership - not a single picture of Bengal leaders (I know there aint any - but there are people in BJP). Thus removing voters even further.

7. Bengal is very news / tv savvy - unfortunately BJP has not understood how to use the medium very well - ads alone cannot do much. There have been no attempt to take over popular serials to mould them - yes, one has to think along those lines too !

8. Its important that media plays up this part - that Advani was opposed to the Kandahar exchange of prisoner plan - goes with the luaha purush name. This story of not being told is pure crap and no one is amused by it - it puts a qs mark on his credibility.

9. There are lots of tribals in Bengal - the agitation of Bengalis against the Gurkhas etc - there is so much potential - but a real ruler is needed to understand the issue and take it up.

10. Rake up the issues of mosques in the state - how it is increasing month on month, year on year and the % of muslims in Bengal - it is important that BJP highlights this - after all its about going about life in a particular way. Its about women being able to win and participate in life and not be confined in homes and under the veil.

11. Gorkhaland was a master stroke. I have come to "understand" that India is worried about this chicken neck area - and that "maybe" India's intelligence agency is fuelling the Gorkhaland movement as it wants to keep the area under control and away from the leftists in Bengal. Whatever the truth - Gorkhaland is a good start for BJP in Bengal (for as long as that place remains in Bengal).

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Wanted you to read this link:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25389187-25837,00.html

venkatesh said...

Swapanda,

off topic. I am not sure if this has been seen by you. Why is the BJP not bringing this strongly against the UPA. This is ridiculous to have a cross on a coin in a hindu majority country. Is this any form of secularism


http://indianrealist.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/the-cross-is-back/

iamfordemocracy said...

Bengal under attack,

Whatever is happening in Bengal is happening elsewhere to a lesser degree. Advani highlighted the Babri Masjid issue and the atrocities against Hindus increased manyfold and they continue till now.

BJP might have done a lot of good things for the country, but whether it has done anything to protect Hindus is a question that has rarely been answered in detail. My sense is they will never do much. My sense is that Hindus are in the frying pan. The fire is not too far in India.

Mere talk will never solve the problem. I still see and read many Hindu sympthisers writing in an arrogant fashion. Situation is much too grave for that.

varun said...

Hello Swapanda

I'm a first-time voter. Maybe the issue that I'm raising is old news, but I never heard of it until today.

In today's issue of the Statesman Rajinder Puri has revealed that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union made paments to Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and her mother. Puri has also stated that Rajiv Gandhi held a Swiss Bank account worth billions of dollars. Puri's source is a book by an ex-KGB agent.

Why doesn't the BJP raise this issue? This is earth-shattering news!! Has this issue been raised before? I never saw it on any TV channel.

Thanks

varun said...

Hello Swapanda

I'm a first-time voter. Maybe the issue that I'm raising is old news, but I never heard of it until today.

In today's issue of the Statesman Rajinder Puri has revealed that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union made paments to Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and her mother. Puri has also stated that Rajiv Gandhi held a Swiss Bank account worth billions of dollars. Puri's source is a book by an ex-KGB agent.

Why doesn't the BJP raise this issue? This is earth-shattering news!! Has this issue been raised before? I never saw it on any TV channel.

Thanks

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Varun,

Its not that earth shattering - we do not use resources at hand to uncover the truth.

In my article dated March 19th : Link: http://bengalunderattack.blogspot.com/2009/03/india-has-14-trillion-of-illegal-money.html


I had written "Rajeev Gandhi’s untimely death left Sonia Gandhi extremely wealthy. The true extent of her wealth became known only when the Soviet archives were thrown open following the collapse of the Soviet Union. KGB archives revealed that as far back as 1982, when Indira Gandhi was still prime minister, Soviet trading agencies were channeling funds into a company controlled by her son and future Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

This was also brought to light by Harvard Russian scholar Yvgenia Albats in her book The State Within A State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia. The Swiss newsmagazine Schweizer Illustrierte (November 11, 1991) provided more details. Citing newly—opened KGB records, it reported that Sonia Gandhi, widow of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was controlling a secret account worth 2.5 billion Swiss francs (about 2 billion dollars at current exchange rates) in a Swiss bank in her minor son's name."

Varun, why do you think Rahul baba Gandhi is trying to say that Bofors money is all hogwash. I am sure he will want Tulips, Lotus (bogus accounts in Swiss for Bofors payoffs) were actually flowers, I am sure.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Swapan,

CBI and Law Ministry in Congress have pretty much ensured that Mr Q walks free for life.

BJP should use this and go hammer and tongs at COngress. However, Bofors is not the issue that BJP should flog as it is pretty much ingrained in our sub-conscious mind.

The killer will be this : Official KGB files - CPSU resolutions making Sonia Gandhi as a beneficiary. TAKE IT UP, SWAPAN -Ei ektai chance royilo.


Official KGB records - which Sonia has been quiet about. If BJP takes it to the next level on KGB declassified records - people will be shocked as they already think (many not sure) about Gandhi role - this will ensure that they are buried.

The issue : “Dr. Yevgeniya Albats is a Soviet journalist who …was appointed as member of the official KGB Commission set up by President Yeltsin in 1991. She had full access to secret files of the KGB. She authored a book, The State within a State: KGB and Its Hold on Russia …. Dr. Albats disclosed in her book that KGB chief Victor Chebrikov in December 1985 had sought in writing from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), ‘authorization to make payments in US dollars to the family members of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Ms Paola Maino, mother of Sonia Gandhi.’ CPSU payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated December 20, 1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No. 2633/Rs dated December 12, 1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family, and ‘have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No. 11187/22 OP dated October 12, 1984.’

Dr. Rajkiran Panuganti said...

Swapan Da,

Last time, UPA and Left have allied together... and conventional knowledge would say that it means, they have left the entire anti-left space to be void in WB and Kerela.

Then, why hasnt BJP been able to take advantage of this unique opportunity ?? They had 4 1/2 years to take make themselves ready to take advantage of that opportunity.

Specifically, can u tell us what efforts did BJP put in Bengal and Kerela to grab that political void ? I know that in Kerela, RSS made significant efforts but what about bengal ?

ANJAN SENGUPTA said...

"CPSU payments were authorized by a resolution, CPSU/CC/No 11228/3 dated December 20, 1985; and endorsed by the USSR Council of Ministers in Directive No. 2633/Rs dated December 12, 1985. These payments had been coming since 1971, as payments received by Sonia Gandhi's family, and ‘have been audited in CPSU/CC resolution No. 11187/22 OP dated October 12, 1984".

THIS IS SERIOUSLY DAMNING. WHY IS THE BJP NOT MAKING AN ISSUE OF IT - AT LEAST THIS IS BLACK & WHITE AND NOT AN "IF / MAYBE" AS IS THE CASE OF BOFORS?

Say No To Negroponte said...

India to drink the Negroponte Kool Aidhttp://www.engadget.com/2009/04/28/india-bids-mythical-10-laptop-adieu-turns-to-olpc/

India gives OLPC its biggest ever order. This makes no sense. Except for Peru, no country fell for this.

Satya said...

All SwapanDa fans, read this article by S Gurumurthy. Its shocking-

http://expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Who+will+probe+first+family%E2%80%99s+billions?&artid=X2zQlPcQFAE=&SectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&MainSectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&SEO=Mrs+Antonia+Maino,+L+K+Advani,+Rajiv+Gandhi,+Ottav&SectionName=pWehHe7IsSU=

Sanjay said...

Every analysis including your's points towards a fractured mandate. History seems to be repeating, we had two short lived governments after 1989 and 1996 before a stable government. In 1991 Congress won on the idea of "Stability" and in 1998 BJP won on the idea of "The party with a difference". Many believe that BJP lost in 2004 due to its flawed "India Shining" campaign, but in reality it was the triumph of the idea of "Inclusive development" of the congress. As a trend, no single idea has succeeded more than once in general elections so the next STABLE government has to be all that, i.e. 1. Stable, 2. Party with a difference, 3. For inclusive development, and more. Its going to be very interesting indeed.

Rajiv Sen said...

At first I should congratulate Swapan Da for initiating this intellectual debate, the main question Is RSS and its Hindu Nationalism has become a obstacle for BJPs future growth? My straight argument is without RSS assistance and without Hindu Nationalism it is unlikely that BJP will ever emerge as an alternative National party to Congress! Still BJPs appeals is only confined in the Hindi heartland state like MP, Rajasthan, Delhi or UP in the east and southern India (except Karnataka) BJP has no significance presence, even in Hindi heartland there are lot of different regional or caste based party like BSP, SP or RJD which are dominating the political scenario on the Contrary the grand old party Congress has nationwide presence,
Now lets discuss about RSS there is a perception among elite middle class supporters of BJP that RSS and VHP is nothing but some lunatic extremist small groups which does not have any mass appeal on contrary the real scenario is very different currently RSS have more than 60,000 shakhas are run throughout India. Apart from 42,000 daily gatherings, there are about 5,000 weekly and 2,000 monthly gatherings conducted throughout the length and breadth of the country moreover it sister organization like VHP has have 1,300,000 members, of which 850,000 are fulltime workers. The Bajrang Dal runs akhadas like RSS's shakhas (branches). There are about 2,500 akhadas nationwide and they are expanding there network specially in the slum area and tribal area, providing various kinds of services reaching out mass people. Even Hindu basher leftist columnist like ‘’ PRAFUL BIDWAI ‘’ in Frontline magazine admitted that dedicated RSS and VHP cadres tireless effort to mobilize dalit and tribal voters against Congress help BJP to win the 2003 Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan state election, BJPs recent achievement in Karnataka is the result of RSS and VHPs tireless work among south Indian masses even liberal news media like frontline or India today admitted this truth in their various article, However despite their selfless work BJPs arrogant top leadership are always showing their cold shoulder to their aspirations in order to appease the liberal socialite class of India ! As a result this frustrated RSS/VHP cadres and their support base didn’t come out enthusiastically to vote BJP result declining of BJPs vote and seat in 2004 and 2009 and I am sure if BJP continuously ignore Hindu Nationalism and only talk about Development than 2014 the result will be just same! It does not matter who take the charge of the party even popular leader like Modi will also loose if he follow the path of Advani