Nine days and waiting
Only nine days are left for the EVMs to declare the mandate. This would provide an opportunity to the pollsters to verify their claims made through opinion polls and ensuing exit polls apart from the speculations of the punters. India has almost voted and only one fifth of the total seats are yet to witness the final ritual of the poll process. Sixty-four seats from seven states would go to poll on 7 May and the rest 41 from three states under the final phase on 12 May 2014. The political parties and the pollsters, along with other election analysts, have been trying to evaluate the meaning of high poll percentage during the last seven phases. The evaluations are enough for various parties to keep their hopes of satisfactory performance alive during seven days of impatience, wait, and final countdown.
The elections, one after another, have become silent, hence, making quite difficult the visibility of any wave, if any, courtesy Election Commission of India. It is being mentioned that there is no wave in the country and only if there is any it is against the Congress, whereas the BJP and its revamped alliance-NDA have been claiming a strong wave in their favour.
Whatever may be the results, as far as the media is concerned, it has started treating Modi as the
next prime minister. The media has been running after Modi to get an audience for the interviews to pose futuristic questions on governance. One might be forced to derive conclusions out of Sonia Gandhi’s statement that Modi is behaving as if he has already become the PM. The way Modi steered his campaign has made him an unassailable warrior. The intense war of words and verbal blasts have become an inseparable part of this election. And it would not be justified to exonerate any political party for bringing the campaign at the lowest level though certain individual leaders vitiating the atmosphere.
The outcome would expose tall claims made by the two alliances during their campaigns. The two major claimants to the highest executive post in the country are NAMO and RAGA though the others have been dreaming and expecting a fractured mandate on 16 May. Such sort of mandate has been providing an open ground to play the political chess. The nation still remembers the general elections of 2004 when the Congress party just bagged seven seats more than the BJP riding on the wave of India shining. This slender edge encouraged the Congress to muster an effective alliance – UPA-I which returned with an impressive addition in 2009 to function as UPA-II. The elections in 1996 also resulted in a fractured mandate enabling the oldest party and the left parties to give life to the non-homogeneous coalition government at the Center with unexpected leaders – H D Devgowda and
I K Gujral – adorning the post of the PM. The fractured mandate is going to kindle the hopes of the three super women – Mayawati, Jaylalithaa and Mamata – the then allies of Atal days NDA, and two other regional satraps – Mulayam and Naveen Patnayak. It is also to be seen whether the next PM would come from UP. If it is going to happen than the state would be giving the ninth PM to the country. The earlier eight PMs, out of 13, from UP ruled the country together for 17,407 days, say around 49 years out of around 68 years of our Independence.
UP is of paramount importance as it sends the maximum 80 number of representatives in Lok Sabha. In case the state would have a separate country it would have been the fifth most populous country in the world. Keeping in view its crucial standing, both the Congress and the BJP devised their strategies to win the maximum number of seats from the state. The PM claimant from BJP Modi deputed its trusted Amit Shah and the natural claimant for the top post from the Congress Rahul Gandhi also deputed his reliable Madhusudan Mistri to ensure their respective big wins. Shah is still playing his innings whereas Mistry left his party in lurch by agreeing to contest against Modi at Vadodara.
Whenever a coalition led by the BJP made it to Centre, it gained maximum number of seats from UP at the cost of the Congress party. The Congress secured 22 seats from the state in 2009 elections and it is looking difficult to repeat it this time. The congress won six seats from UP in 1998 and zero in 1999 hence, paying the way for a big win for the BJP in UP. It is expected that the BJP would be able to bag the maximum number of seats from UP at the cost of the Congress. Another question looming high in the circles is whether the Congress would be able to cross its minimum tally of 114 seats. It is also being reported that Rahul would prefer to sit in opposition and rebuild his party rather than offering support to any third front.
The author is a communication consultant