Monday, 2 March 2009

Will Congress win and BJP again fail to form government?

The dates for the Lok Sabha elections have been announced. Political pundits give Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) the edge.

Though it is risky to make any prediction but Arun Nehru, former Congress Union minister who later joined BJP, has predicted that the Congress would increase its tally and get more seats than the BJP.

He also forecasts a Congress-led government in May 2009 rather than National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coming to the power at the Centre. Though Nehru is no qualified psephologist, he has been making such predictions for well over a decade.

He says that ongress will get 149 seats while the BJP will muster 135 seats. So will LK Advani's dream of becoming India's Prime Minister remain unfulfilled? Even CNN-IBN pre-elections poll had predicted that despite the terrorist strikes in the country and Mumbai terror attack (26/11), BJP is not looking like winning.

Nehru is considerd to be a BJP sympathiser but he appears convinced that the party is not going to perform better than the 2004 elections when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the party mascot and led the election campaign.

Though Nehru predicts a fall in the tally of Left parties including the CPI, CPM and other minor outfits, it appears that aided by the third front and regional parties like RJD, Congress may yet again pull off a victory.

Arun Nehru's pre-election estimate

Congress 149
BJP 135


TDP 13 TRS 6, MIM 1
JD (U) 18, RJD (8), Lok Janshakti (3), JMM (2)
National Conference (2), PDP (1)
JD (S) 2
Shiv Sena (12), NCP (9), RPI (1)
AIADMK (16), DMK (7), PMK (6), MDMK (2)
BJD (7) JD (S) 2
Trinamool Congress [AITC] 10
Akali Dal 5
Uttar Pradesh: BSP 36, SP 26, Rashtriya Lok Dal 3

Will it prove wrong and can BJP form the government?

A few factors that will be crucial in the formation of the next government:

1. Jayalalitha is on nobody's side but can join any coalition. Right now she is flirting with HD Devegodwa's third front. IT may still go to BJP. It seems Karunanidhi's DMK may not fare too well and Jaya will emerge stronger.

2. Telugu Desam Party isn't keen to go with BJP after the polls as if feels it cost the party, minority vote. Will it change mind and go to BJP?

3. Mayawati's BSP can go either way. It remains unpredictable. SP may not be a big player again but it will also have numbers.

Though Left is not going to support the Congress, there is no question of the Communists allowing the 'communal and fascist' BJP to form the government. This gives Congress, an advantage. But will it brave anti-incumbency and hand over power back to Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh?

Over to the Indian voter.

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