Exit Polls Heartening and Scary

Even as the nation awaits the people’s verdict on May 23 of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections held in 7 phases from April 11 to May 19 across the country, various exit polls show a more or less uniform trend of the Bharatiya Janata Party getting a clear majority and with it’s allies the National Democratic Alliance crossing the 300 seats mark out of a total of 543 seats.

The uniformity of the trend is heartening and scary.

Heartening because the uniformity hints at the exit polls following a more matured standard data analysis, the output of which is more or less similar. And as per this the BJP hurricane is all set to sweep over most of North, West and East India except Punjab and West Bengal (where also the party has made unprecedented inroads) and Karnataka in South India.

Scary because the uniformity of exit polls could mean a pre-orchestrated mandate to scare the opposition from strategising alliances before the verdict.

Looking at the exit polls’ verdict about a landslide victory for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, almost repeating the performance in 2014, seems possible, as the Prakash Ambedkar – led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi has played an effective spoil-sport in some crucial seats for the Indian National Congress – Nationalist Congress Party Front. The VBA however had this limited role of polarising the INC and NCP votes without possibly winning a single seat.

The looming defeat for Congress stalwart Sushil Kumar Shinde in Sholapur is a striking example of the VBA syndrome in the State.

The Narendra Modi – Amit Shah team bulldozing the opposition in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Chandigarh clearly indicates the mood of the nation to give the present NDA dispensation another term to deliver the development agenda.

Though the NDA alliance failed to breach the regional heavyweights in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the United Democratic Front in Kerala, it’s steadily increasing vote share spell solace and hope for the NDA in future.

The massive shift of the mandate should be attributed to the untiring hard work, strategising and campaigning by the Narendra Modi – Amit Shah duo. Yet the role of money muscle cannot be discounted from the fact that the NDA utilized nearly 80 per cent of the Rs. 5500 crores received through electoral bonds, whose source remains confidential as per the law of the land made by the present ruling dispensation.

The verdict on May 23 could give a few scattered seats more than the exit polls show to the opposition, but certainly not sufficient enough to dent the treasury benches in parliament.

The emergence of Jagan Mohan Reddy – led YSR in Andhra Pradesh has diminished Chandrababu Naidu’s stature to negotiate any strategy at the national stage for opposition unity.

Stalin, Mamta Banerjee, K. Chandrashekhar Rao, Mayavati, Akhilesh Yadav and others along with Rahul Gandhi will have to introspect and chart a robust appeal and line of action to intimidate and disturb the rejuvenated NDA. The Rafael scare has failed miserably.

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