Scales are tilted towards a BJP victory?
All opinion polls seem to predict a BJP/NDA victory. Opinion polls can’t be dismissed so easily. There are of course newer allegations everyday. The one allegation is about the alleged distribution of huge funds, running to something like Rs.2400 crores by the Opposition party that is poised to win the election outcome. One sting operation by a TV news channel went on to confirm this manipulation and rigging. Even if this all true and the Election Commission (EC) this time has many such challenges to investigate and issue correctives.
EC is also faced with many such issues, the number of criminal candidates this time too. After the release of the candidates list, it is found both the BJP and the Congress have not bothered to resist the urge to bring in tainted candidates. This is widespread in all states and the critical North Indian states, UP and Bihar, have a large list. Also, dynastic politics is not confined to the Congress alone. The BJP has gone with no hesitation. Between the BJP and the Congress it is almost a do or die situation with Rahul Gandhi resorting to wide allegations and also the BJP returning the compliments by calling names, invoking even the infamous Hitler to leaders here.
Why the desperation this time?
For this time the Congress had accumulated a large number of scams and scandals, latest by the exposure of new scandals in many ministries, from Health to Defence to other corruption scandals, well-known already. Now, this time there are also new developments. Two new entrants to the election scene are Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal.Both started as comrades in arms and now they have gone about their own separate ways.
Anna created a new wave, a new consciousness among the urban middle classes and Kejriwal with his new party, AAP, had created electoral political wave. His party victory in New Delhi Assembly elections is a turning point in the post-Independence party politics. Now, after tasting victory and ruling for a brief 49 days he is in action at the all India level.
Will the AAP make a difference in the Lok Sabha polls?
It depends first on the mood of the electorate considering what the BJP campaigning is doing for the mood of the electorate. There is one more new entrant. The role of the social media. The social media space is now dominated by a vast army of paid-full time and part-time workers. The pressure of the BJP election machine on this medium is also said to be very intense.
Still one more new factor in this election is the entry of the corporate heavyweights an even unsuspected idealist and also powerful and ambitious corporate professionals and varied sorts of individuals like journalists, beauty queens and actors and actresses on the AAP ticket.
So, what the various polls, the Business Standard had listed the pollster, 5 of them, almost all of them by TV news channels partnered, one or two by print media houses. They were also there in 2009 and now also. The BS has compared the two dates, they all show, briefly stated, that when we saw in 2009 the UPA was leading, this time, the NDA seem to be leading. Not one poll has given a chance for UPA winning!
This is the most interesting development this time. The very latest, a pre-poll survey projects Narendra Modi-led BJP “sweeping Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka and the party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) giving a big jolt to the ruling Congress-NCP Alliance in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha elections.
319 seats in 12 states. AIADMK is projected to win 27 out of the 39 seats in TN. the poll predicts only 10 seats to the DMK. Out of the 319 seats, the NDA gets 166, the UPA 52, others 85 reports PTI.
So, is this an foregone conclusion? Or is there any overriding factor or factors that could overturn this prediction?
It is difficult to say at this point of time. But there are some weighty considerations and thoughts and questions. First, India is a diverse country and regional political variations and even antagonisms are too varied to make up to any one large and predictable conclusion.
As on date, the other regional parties that have defied any rational movement of opinion are Trinamul Congress, Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, the Shivsena factions and also the very same alliances in TN where the Congress is left in the lurch, the other BJP combination is also driven with too much caste and personal rivalries among the three quarrelling ones, DMDK, PMK, Vaiko’s outfit.
Also, the various new strategies or sabotages some of the smaller parties or the long-time corrupt parties might resort to give secret support or make sure some selected targets are sought to be attacked.
Thus, please note here, that a party like the DMK and even the Congress, in sheer desperation might seek secret understanding with each other so that they could jointly work for achieving some common strategy.
Why, this time, even the big names could be targeted. Who knows how even Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi or even for that matter even Narendra Modi could be targeted from with its own rivals to the over weaning ambitions of perceived upstarts!
So, this time Indian democracy is facing some real crucial tests. How we would settle for some transparent electoral processes. The critical issue is for the concerned institutions, from EC to the Sc to other NGOs and those all engaged in overseeing an honest and corruption-free election processes and practise to see that the election outcome is very open and objective and everyone plays by the rules.
There are two critical issues here. One is the money power. Two is the role of political ideologies that drive the parties and factions. There is no doubt that the current issues and concerns would continue even with the outcome of the elections.
There is a great deal of unaccounted funds from unknown sources.
There is the role of the big corporate houses. The general public fairly know these names. The crony capitalists have now become. One is the role of unaccounted money that is now on full display. Even the bug of big money seems to have caught up with Kejriwal, as he openly defied and took an expensive private jet to meet a media house sponsored event. He was also seen asking the TV interviewer to play up some part of his interview so as to impress the poor voters, as giant the jibes at crony capitalists!
So, too the BJP which is also flaunting its unlimited resort to funds.
Every other small, regional; party is flush with funds.
So, with all precautions, on the Election Day it is anybody’s guess how the money factor will play up an influence the outcome.
Corruption is now the very big issue.
Unfortunately, the corruption fighters like Anna and Kejriwal are nowhere fighting or highlighting corruption at the top levels of government, parties and corporate houses.
As for political ideology, both economic and political, it is as good as nil!
Let us hope the wisdom of the people; the common man will triumph in a rational outcome.
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