Saturday, March 21, 2009

My money is on XXX.. Part 2 ..

Just a small thought before heading into the analysis and predictions. Why do almost all Indian parties have three word names : BJP,RJD,CPM,PDP,NCP,DMK and the list goes on. And even if by chance they have one short, they add one : JD (S) , JD (U). Strange.

Maharashtra ( + Goa):

A brief introduction :

Always a close fought state. Last time was a classic example, with the four leading parties almost perfectly splitting the 48 seats available. With the Shiv Sena having undergone a split since last time and with an aging leader, question marks are being raised about how battle ready the party is. Also home to the perennial PM hope, Sharad Pawar. Things are looking extremely interesting this time around.

Issues :

Terror attacks:

November 26th will carry a lot more significance in these elections than on the state polls held a few months back. Congress , which had secured a bounty in the Mumbai region last time will now have a tough time defending them .With the public sentiment also nt quite in favor of Sena in Mumbai, BJP might just get a minor bonus in this region.

Shiv Sena - NCP alliance :

This will be a sort of a political coup unlike any before, two powerful parties ,who haven't previously seen eye to eye, getting together. Oh sorry, we have seen that before, but well, that's what best describes this alliance. If it happens NCP will lose and Shiv Sena will gain .


Malegaon:

Communal tensions caused by the blasts are unlikely to subside. Considering that BJP has the sitting MP here, it will make for an interesting watch to see if they play the Hindutva card.

Farmer suicides:

For a long time the name Vidarbha , unfortunately, became synonymous with farmer suicides. Despite the big relief program for the farmers, its trickle down effect is yet to be felt. Will Congress/NCP dare raise the issue of having provided for relief at the risk of antagonizing the people of the region by daring to take even the slightest credit out of the whole issue. Interestingly, it is the BJP which holds quite a few seats in this area.

Key players:

Sharad Pawar, as mentioned earlier, will be licking his lips at the thought of a hung Parliament. He will play the key factors of experience, non-communalist past and his easy manner with the other top honchos to try and get the top post he so desperately craves for.

(No) Pramod Mahajan was BJP's go to man for almost everything, especially Maharashtra. He was the one man who could talk business with the Sena and do it hard. His top notch organizational and fund raising skills will be sorely missed by the party at an all India level.

Casino Scandal (Goa):

One of those variations of corruption issues which rock the country during the election time, this one involves allegations by the opposition (BJP) against the ruling coalition (Cong + NCP) over irregularities in allotting licenses for casinos in the state. Is getting rather high decibel levels of late.

My bet is on :

Expect the NCP to gain over last time and Congress to lose some, in effect not affecting the NCP + Congress total from last time. BJP will be desperate to make some gains , but the lack of a strong leadership in the state will continue to haunt them. The old tiger would want to ensure that his cubs will has some prey to feed on when he's done with the hunting in a short while and this could just about spur the Sena to do reasonable well.

Maharashtra

Congress - 7-8 seats

NCP - 13-14 seats

BJP - 11-12 seats

Shiv Sena - 13-14 seats

Goa

NCP - 1

BJP - 1


Gujarat
:

A brief introduction :

Mahatma's home state, a former Congress safe state, now firmly in the BJP's hands. On our list so far, the first state which will see a direct BJP v Congress fight. Has seen a lot of strong regional leaders since the 90s from SS Vaghela to Keshubhai Patel but none of them can claim to have had the kind of hold on the state that Narendra Modi has.

Issues :

Development :

One of the very few states where development will actually be an issue. Modi will put in his report card for the last 7 years in front of the public and ask them to judge. Recent comments by top business leaders about Modi's administrative skills will have given him a mass image boost. Combined with his no- nonsense corruption free image, it makes Modi the man to beat this election.

Godhra:

More than 7 years on, the flame just refuses to die down. The opposition are ever willing to rake up this issue and election time means even more incentive to do so. The recent issue over declaring those missing officially dead has managed to bring the issue back into focus, just in time for the opposition.

Surat and Diamond industry :

This promises to be a substantial issue this election, with the opposition claiming that the worsening situation here and the increasing number of suicides are more representative of the actual situation in these parts.

My bet is on :

BJP should do strongly yet again, for , barring the Surat issue the rest of the state doesn't seem to have any issues with the present government , at least as far as those who vote are concerned. Gains for the BJP and losses for the Congress .

BJP - 17-19 seats

Congress - 7-8 seats

Rajasthan :

A brief introduction :

Land of the Rajputs, a key state for the fortunes of both the national parties as this is again a straight one on one between them. Has witnessed turbulent times due to caste issues in the recent past and is amongst the most caste dominated as far as choices in the candidate lists are concerned.


Issues :

IPL

Believe it or not, this is snowballing into a major issue in Jaipur, with the Congress government accusing Modi of taking the matches away from Jaipur as revenge for his loss in the Rajasthan Cricket Association elections. Of course, his perceived closeness to former CM Vasundara Raje will be exploited by the Congress in this issue.

Corruption :

The present government has been keen to try and tie up the previous Government to as many corruption charges as possible. With the present government barely a few months old, it will not be subject to much scrutiny on this count and this will have a tremendous negative impact on the BJP.

Lack of BJP leaders:

While Vasundara Raje was in power all seemed well in the BJP camp and they would have thought that they had set up a strong base in the state through her. However, since the end of her reign, BJP seems to be affected by lack of clear leadership in the state unit, while the Congress which usually suffers from this phenomenon has its house in order , thanks mainly to the fact that they are in power.

My bet is on:

Expect a complete reversal of fortune from last time, when BJP grabbed more than 80% of the seats. Congress will look to maximize their gains from here to compensate for other losses.

Congress - 20-22 seats

BJP- 3-4 seats

Madhya Pradesh + Chattisgarh :

The third straight BJP v Congress face to face on our list, this one seems to present a slightly better picture for the BJP than Rajasthan. Last time saw BJP do remarkably well reducing Congress to just six seats and helping itself to a massive 34. A good performance here will give the BJP's tally a much needed boost.

Issues :

SS Chauhan & Raman Singh

This will boil down to an almost Gujarat like situation where it will be the BJP's CMs versus the Congress party. Here again BJP will rely on a development agenda and Mr Clean image of its CMs. With Chauhan, and to a lesser extent Raman Singh, having ridden a massive wave of support to form the government just a few months back, BJP will look to keep the momentum going and win as many as possible.

Lack of leaders from Congress :

A state which was once home to Madhavrao Scindia , a Congress icon, MP has failed to produce any other leaders of his stature and this has cost it heavily in the recent past. Scindia's heir, Jyothiraditya's appeal is limited to regions around Gwalior. Kamal Nath , Commerce Minister, is not exactly a leader who will draw in the masses and the votes.


Return of the prodigal daughter :

Uma Bharti has indicated that she'll be supporting Advani for PM and the likelihood of her campaigning for BJP will be a mixed bag for the party, as there are chances
of power squabbles in the state if she returns to the fold.

One rupee / kg rice (Chattisgarh):

Raman Singh has through his two terms as the CM tried to project a pro poor image and his populist schemes for rice, wheat and other essential commodities are proving to be a huge hit and are likely to favor the party in these elections.


My bet is on :


BJP can look to extend their good show in the assembly elections , and though a 25-4 verdict may be too much to expect, MP will possibly one of the few states where the BJP will have a big percentage of seats from .

Madhya Pradesh :

BJP - 20-23 seats

Congress - 7-8 seats

Chattisgarh :

BJP - 8-9 seats

Congress- 3-4 seats


Though numerically BJP seems to have done well in round 2, compared to last time, it is likely to see a reduction in its numbers primarily due to its free fall in Rajasthan.

Congress , on the other hand looks like holding on to its tally in most of the states and gaining heavily in Rajasthan.

Just to sum up things so far :



So at the halfway stage, it looks like the Congress has managed to get more parts of its face forward.

6 comments:

S Balaji Srinivasan said...

A fair analysis I would say!
Few points,
1. Prominent by his absence is Raj.
2. In Rajasthan, it will be interesting to see what Bhairon Singh Shekawat is planning. His 'fondness' for Vasundhara is well known.
3. In MP, I think the Congress wont do the mistake they did in the assembly elections. They should be ready to project a face to people this time around. But, therein lies the problem.

Hariharan said...

Yes, Raj Thackeray seems to have done nothing path breaking (bone breaking, yes) and doesn't seem to have built up any base.

BS Shekawat v Vasundara Raje is only going to dampen whatever little chances BJP has in that state.

Agree with you on MP. Congress always seems to have states they rule under control and the minute they lose power their leaders tend to gravitate towards the centre and lose their base in the state.

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vijaytheblogger said...

Brilliant post da,

Hariharan said...

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thanks..

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