Predicting results of elections in India is not at all an easy game. Opinion polls as well as Exit Polls differ from the real results and have a great difference within themselves as well.
For media agencies, predicting election results has become entertainment rather than a serious affair. Though there are only two major parties i.e. BJP and Congress, the third front (parties except BJP and Congress) has also started taking a lot of seats nationwide.
The chances of NDA (BJP+Allies) winning outright seem very less than what they were in 2014. NDA, most probably will have to join hands with some third-front parties and then only they can form a Government at the center. This coalition govt. is something which most of the Media reports are directing towards.On the other hand, the chances of a Congress majority Govt. are also very low considering the less state-wise dominance of Congress. Congress could also join hands with third-front parties and this is very much possible because Rahul Gandhi has been in talks with a lot of other parties. So, one can surely say that in 2019 election results, the third front is going to decide the fate. Considering all this, the chances of NDA or one can say ‘Narendra Modi’ forming the Govt. are 50-50. There are some news out there that say that BJP can also ditch Narendra Modi for the Prime Ministerial candidate but that doesn’t seem to be possible since he has become the face of BJP in the past 5 years.
Back in 2014, Modi sold a dream to voters with a promise of good governance and dynamic economy that would have eventually created a lot of jobs. But in reality, Modi has failed to accelerate the GDP growth. Even there aren’t a huge number of jobs created. The recent state elections have clearly sent a message to the BJP. BJP has also lost two major allies, the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) and Shiv Sena, though there are good chances of them joining hands back with BJP soon. Also, a lot of third front parties which fought independently in 2014 have formed what they call as ‘Anti-BJP’ fronts. So, the BJP’s vote share is likely to fall this time.
After winning the State-Elections in UP, the BJP lost two parliamentary by-elections because of the seats vacated by the CM and the Deputy CM. This time the Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) and the Samajwadi Party(SP) which fought separately in state elections got together in these by-elections.
These all parties joining hands to fight BJP has become an alarm for BJP.
Losses in both urban and rural parts of the country indicate a serious flaw in how BJP has positioned itself politically. All the defeats that BJP faced, let it be Chattisgarh where it was in power for last 15 years or Rajasthan which was a stronghold of BJP or even Madhya Pradesh where it ruled for three consecutive terms, have made the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi a lead player. These all have provided Congress the belief that BJP can be defeated and Rahul Gandhi can lead the charge against Narendra Modi. Voters in rural areas,farmers,Dalits and unemployed youth have showed their hatred towards the BJP’s policies. Rahul Gandhi could be the best pick for them. During Rahul Gandhi’s campaigns as well, he spoke about how he’ll be working to curb unemployment and work for minorities like Dalits.
With the downfall of major companies like Jet Airways, people have started believing that the NDA Govt. must have done something to keep these ventures running. Other entities have also lost faith in BJP led government after the resignation of people from major institutions like CBI and RBI.
But there are other obvious factors that could be talked about. A person who didn’t vote for Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan doesn’t mean that he/she won’t vote for Narendra Modi. Similarly, those who voted for Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh may not prefer Rahul Gandhi over Narendra Modi.
But if numbers are to believed in, Modi has run a much cleaner government than Congress did. There have been a lot of economic reforms such as the simplication of the taxation system. The infrastructure notably improved as there are a lot of new roads and many more toilets in the village. ‘Make in India’ and ‘ Swatch Bharat Abhiyan’ are some of those campaigns which have worked successfully. However, elections are about the future and not the past. Six of his nine main economic reforms started in the first half of his five years tenure and have slowed down. The BJP’s campaign is mostly focused on Nationalism while Congress usually talks dynamic about new economic ideas.
Let’s talk about what the Exit-Polls say this time. Most Exit polls indicate a majority for the ruling BJP led NDA. However there are a lot of prominent people who said that one shouldn’t believe in exit polls. Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu has mocked at the exit polls, saying they were not exact polls. “Exit polls do not mean exact polls. We have to understand that. Since 1999, most of the exit polls have gone wrong,” the Vice-President pointed out. Rahul Gandhi has also shown disbelief in fairness of Election Commission. He tweeted,
“From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, ‘Modi’s Army’ & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore.”
To conclude, the close contests that we have witnessed in the State Elections show the absence of any major wave in favour of either party. Keeping aside the Exit- Polls, there is a lot that one should wait for.We’ll still say that the third front will decide who’ll rule India for the next 5 years.So the chances for both Narendra Modi as well as Rahul Gandhi are 50-50.