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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Election 2009 - An Analysis

With just over a month to go for the 15th Lok Sabha general elections, all the major political parties are busy finding new allies or revamping old alliances. With Congress drawing the first blood in winning the alliances of regional parties and other national parties, for the BJP it’s been a downfall everywhere. If Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackrey refused to meet the BJP prime ministerial candidate L.K.Advani in Maharashtra, then they lost a key ally in the form of BJD or the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa. However, they were successful in bringing Rashtriya Lok Dal (Ajit Singh) in to NDA from Uttar Pradesh. For Congress apart from losing Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, till now it has been a win-win situation everywhere. However, losing SP’s support may prove to be a big loss for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. The other major party, the Left has gained from what is said to be BJP’s loss. They have invited the BJD in to the third front and if they manage to contest elections together then it will be advantage Third Front in Orissa.

This is the summary of what is happening in India over the past few months. Let us see the prospects of the three alliances in those states which can swing the results in either way.

Let’s start with recap of what happened in 2004.

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) – 275

  • INC – 145
  • SP – 39
  • RJD - 21
  • DMK – 16
  • NCP – 9
  • Kerala Congress – 2
  • PMK – 6
  • TRS – 5
  • JMM – 5
  • MDMK – 4
  • LJSP – 3
  • PDP – 1

National Democratic Alliance (NDA) – 185

  • BJP – 138
  • Shiv Sena – 12
  • BJD – 11
  • Akali Dal – 8
  • JD(U) – 7
  • Trinamool – 2

Left - 60

Others – 78

Independents – 3

Out of these 275 seats + 60 from the Left, the UPA enjoyed clear majority in 2004. However, lots happened in the last 5 years with many parties switching allegiance. If the results replicate in 2009 then

UPA: 335 – SP- Left -MDMK-TRS + Trinamool - BSP = 217 Seats

NDA: 185 – Trinamool – BJD = 172 Seats

Third Front: Left + TDP + BJD+ADMK = 76 Seats

Now let’s take a look state wise

Andhra Pradesh

With 42 seats, AP is also going in for the assembly elections. The ruling Congress under the leadership of Y.S.Rajashekara Reddy is fighting the elections against the grand alliance of TDP and TRS along with CPI and CPI (M) forming the third front and megastar Chiranjeevis’ Praja Rajyam Party. With the advent of PRP, the vote share of both Congress and TDP will be split and the presence of TRS in the third front means chances of increasing the seat numbers for TDP compared to the previous election looks good. They might just have upper hand at the Telengana region. However, the welfare policies of the current Congress government will give them the edge over other parties. The biggest loser in AP is the BJP after losing their key partner TDP to the Third Front. At present it is advantage Congress in AP for the coming Lok Sabha election.

However for the assembly election nothing can be said as the presence of Chiranjeevi might just change the scenario. With PRP already decided to field maximum women and physically challenged candidates for the election, he might not win the election but will definitely cause damage to both Congress and TDP.

Karnataka

With 28 seats, Karnataka is the next big state that could swing the momentum either way. The BJP is enjoying its success here and it has been just a year since coming into power in the State, the anti incumbency effect will not be a major factor in the election. The success of BJP even in the by polls means BJP is clearly ahead of other parties and could win majority of seats in the state. Its advantage BJP in Karnataka.

Kerala

With 20 seats, Kerala is one of the Left bastions in India. However, the anti incumbency effect along with the fight within the state party may act against the Left. This will certainly add to the advantage for the Congress and the Congress is expected to do well here. Even though they might have a clean sweep, it is expected to win at least 50% to 60% of the seat i.e. around 10 to 12 seats which could definitely swing the momentum towards the Congress. BJP might just repeat their 2004 performance. Its advantage Congress in Kerala.

Maharashtra

If there is a state which will decide the next Prime Minister of India then this could be the one. With 48 seats, everything is happening in this state. The NCP under Sharad Pawar has asked for atleast 50% of the seats which the Congress is not willing to give. Shiv Sena – BJP alliance is in danger after Bal Thackrey refused to meet L.K.Advani and has hinted that NCP is a better ally than BJP. This could cause a serious damage to both Congress and BJP as both NCP and Shiv Sena are an important ally. If Shiv Sena and NCP come together then there will be a 3 way contest in Maharashtra between Congress, BJP and Shiv Sena- NCP alliance. Nothing can be said about who is going to win and its advantage to neither Congress nor the BJP. However, anything can happen in Indian politics. So one has to wait till May 16th to know the exact result.

Orissa

Even though it might not change the political scenario at the center, the recent developments indicates that this state might throw in few surprises. The break up of BJP-BJD and BJD planning to join the Third Front means its advantage Third Front. The clean score card of Naveen Patnaik and Kandhamal violence means BJP is in a big problem and might not repeat its 2004 results. This could really be an important factor in deciding who will be the next Prime Minister of India.

Tamil Nadu

The state which has thrown surprise in every election. With 39 seats, in 2004 it was clean sweep for the UPA. But things have changed. The anti incumbency of the ruling DMK government and the rift between the DMK and the PMK, the presence of Vijaykanth, the formation of alliance between the ADMK and the Communists, the Srilankan Tamil issue, this state has seen everything. This time around it is impossible for the UPA to repeat its 2004 performance, which means they have to improve their performance in other states to come back to power. The BJP again has no allies in TN and Left – ADMK alliance means, it’s a fight between the Left – ADMK and the UPA. However, its advantage ADMK and its allies and it will be hoping to win at least 25 seats i.e. around 50% of the total seats.

Uttar Pradesh

The biggest of all the states, UP is the most important of all the states when it comes to Lok Sabha election. It is a battle between four major parties, the BSP, the SP, the Congress and the BJP. Ever since the fallout between the Congress and the SP last week, this state has been keenly watched by the political analysts, all over India. Just like Maharashtra, it is difficult to predict the clear winner. However, with Kalyan Singh changing his allegiance towards the SP means, problems continuing for the BJP as he was the face of BJP among the lower caste people in UP. At present this is the most interesting state of all in India. If at all the BSP or the SP joins the Third Front, then we are almost certain for a hung Parliament. But again, anything can happen in Indian Politics.

West Bengal

The Left bastion for almost 5 decades might just throw a surprise this year. The happenings at Nandhigram and Trinamool Congress joining hands with the Congress, the anti incumbency of the present West Bengal government everything will play an important role in this year’s Lok Sabha election. Again, the BJP is left with no major political alliance, it’s a close fight between the Congress and the Left and anything more than 10 to 15 seats means, a gain for the Congress from the previous election. However, it was Congress – Left alliance that won 32 seats on the whole during the last election and to repeat the performance is not that easy for the Congress-TMC alliance. As such, in terms of number of seats, its advantage Left in West Bengal.

My prediction:

  • Congress+ - 220 to 230 seats
  • BJP + - 160 to 180 seats
  • Third Front – 80 to 100 seats
  • Others 30 to 80 seats

If my prediction proves correct then we will see a hung Parliament. It is a close fight between the 3 alliances i.e the UPA, NDA and the Third Front, with the UPA leading the pack. However, in Indian Politics there is no enemy or friends. So it is possible for the parties to change allegiance again and form a post poll alliance with either the UPA or the NDA. So lets wait and watch. Whoever comes to the power, hope they don’t buckle under the pressure of the alliances and work towards the welfare of the people and as always it is the aam aadmi who suffers irrespective of who is in the power.

1 comment:

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