oppn parties Poll Of Polls: NDA Will Be Back, But Just

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Poll Of Polls: NDA Will Be Back, But Just

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
A poll of four opinion polls shows the NDA just crossing the halfway mark and retaining power. The CSDS-Lokniti poll gives the combine a low of 263 seats and a high of 283 seats while CVoter gives it 267 and Times Now- VMR 279. An average at the lower end shows NDA getting 271 and at the higher end 276. Of course, opinion polls have gone embarrassingly wrong many times in the past and since the elections are spread over more than one month, a lot can change with damning disclosures and new issues cropping up. But the base effect is now clear: the NDA might retain power but it is not going to be easy.

On the other hand, the UPA is in no position to unseat the incumbent. It can at best hope to get 149 seats and on an average just 141 seats. The combined opposition – UPA plus the unaligned parties and independents – also have little hope of grabbing power even if the NDA gets the lowest predicted 271 seats. That is because the NDA would then need just 2 seats to have a majority whereas the opposition will have to make an impossible number of permutations and combinations to arrive at the magic figure. It looks as if Rahul Gandhi, despite his best efforts (which many think does not amount to much), will have to wait another five years to have a shot at the prime minister’s chair.

So will Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and all others in the opposition who could not shed their burning ambition and got bogged down with existential threats from the BJP in their own dens to keep opposition unity the most talked about but ultimately the saddest non-happening event of these elections. If these leaders were serious about defeating Modi, if they had kept their egos on the backburner for these elections and if they had employed a canny political consultant, they could have shared seats in such a way as to present the NDA with a one-to-one fight on almost all seats. Then the score would have been completely different and Modi would have packed his bags on May 23.

But the opposition has allowed Modi to rise above visible and simmering anti-incumbency, a projected complete rejection in the south barring Karnataka and rising unemployment and farm distress to script an amazing turnaround based on current events. Even 6 months back his popularity was plunging. The opposition could not drive in the nails. Now he is back at the peak of his popularity and will crisscross the country rubbishing the mahamilavat alliance and basking in the glow of being the best pradhan sevak and chowkidar India has ever had. No amount of chowkidar chor hai is now going to hurt him as he has cannily shifted the dialogue from pressing issues to national security and ultra-nationalism. That the opposition blindly allowed him to do so – they even acted foolish enough to demand proof of the surgical strikes – means that they could not match him when it came to his Machiavellian moves.

This article has been written on the assumption that the opinion polls will be more or less correct, along with my own assumption that the NDA will get a simple majority. Obviously, there will be egg on my face if it doesn’t happen. However, I still stick my neck out.