Showing posts with label Rahul Gandhi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rahul Gandhi. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Rahul Gandhi

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Introducing Web3 Subscriptions Mirror takes subscriptions a step further by centering it around a web3 wallet, rather than an email address. We believe wallets are the fundamental representation of identity in web3, and creators will want to build a community represented by wallets rather than emails. A "hello world" post, whitepaper, or manifesto that marks the genesis of any important project on Mirror can now enable its audience to subscribe, creating a social and economic link between community and project. ......... Socially, wallets are evolving into the means by which everyone in web3 communicates, interacts, and follows each other. Blurring the lines between social and economic identity presents a completely new design space with enormous opportunities for the next generation of social applications. At Mirror, our mission is to build great publishing tools at this junction. ......... For creators and projects that don't yet have a community of wallets, we believe publishing on Mirror should be the first step in that direction. Every big idea that sparks a movement begins with a story, and now it can inspire a reader to subscribe and join yours. ........... Twitter just wasn’t the right place for that. Mirror is the right place to engage with an on-chain community at scale, because it is purposefully built to be. On Mirror, you could generate the same level of attention, but the end result will be the foundation of your community, all starting with the delivery of your post directly to their inboxes.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Indian Citizenship Bill Protests: The Distrust Is Wide And Deep

Has India's Narendra Modi gone too far with controversial new citizenship law? Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian government has stripped the country's only Muslim-majority state of autonomy and rolled out a citizenship check in the northeastern state of Assam that effectively left nearly 2 million people stateless, many of them Muslims. ........ And when Modi backed the passage of a controversial new citizenship law, which prioritizes immigrants from three Muslim-majority countries of virtually every religious stripe over Islam, protests broke out across India. ........ To Modi's critics, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) -- which fast-tracks applications for immigrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who arrived in India before 2015 -- has become

the most brazen example of a Hindu nationalist agenda aimed at marginalizing Indian Muslims

. ...... Since the law passed through both houses of Parliament last week, demonstrations have swept university campuses in at least nine states. Protesters have taken to the streets across Assam and Tripura over fears that large numbers of Hindus, who migrated to the region in the past few decades, will now be able to get their citizenship fast-tracked. Many there fear it will dramatically recast the religious and ethnic makeup of the northeastern states -- home to 200 distinct indigenous groups. .......

critics are worried it might pave the way for nationwide citizenship tests, stripping the rights of Muslims who have lived in India for generations but cannot prove their family's lineage -- turning countless people stateless.

........ Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly said that the government will roll out a national citizenship registry. ...... Modi tried to reassure the public on Monday, saying on Twitter that the new law "does not affect any citizen of India of any religion." And that "no Indian has anything to worry" about....... But when a citizenship registry took place in Assam earlier this year it left 1.9 million people off a list of Indian citizens. The government said at the time that no one would be declared a foreigner if they are not on the list, but that failed to temper concerns........ What is at stake is "the future of liberal democracy in India," Vaishnav said. "And it looks like a side, which has been asleep or at least silent, has really woken up and made sure that their voices are being heard." ...... The protests are sure to have caught Modi -- who has developed a reputation for being a Teflon premier -- somewhat off guard. ..... As protests roiled the country over the weekend, the government shut down the internet in several affected states in a bid to maintain law and order........ in spite of mounting grievances, analysts think it is unlikely that the BJP will scrap the law. "Modi still remains, head and shoulders, the most popular politician in India" ......

India lacks a foreplan for what comes next. Its detention centers do not have the capacity needed to house "millions of people that could potentially be caught up," if a nationwide citizenship check is rolled out

...... there appears to be no existing talks with neighboring countries, like Bangladesh, on the issue of deportation ....... "Are you going to see large numbers of Muslims detained or lose their citizenship? It is a game of wait and see."

India is fundamentally a secular, diverse country. Modi spent years cultivating the image of a Vikash Purush ("Development Man") before he ran for Prime Minister in 2014. His famous slogan is, Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas ("Development For All").

India is the largest remittance economy in the world, and it draws sustenance from the Gulf countries only a few hours away. And, of course, India is the second largest Muslim country in the world by population. At some level, partition was never possible, and it never happened.

Modi came in promising double-digit growth rates, but his second term has been marked by one anti-Muslim step after another. It might be okay to turn Kashmir into just another Indian state, but turning Kashmir into an open-air prison is a no-no. Indians are so into free speech, they argue when they are out shopping for vegetables. They haggle over price.

Before the amended citizenship bill came along, already close to two million Muslims in Assam had been declared stateless. So the new bill is making people feel like that number will go from two million to 20 million. That will make Syria look like the Bahamas. Xi with his Xinjiang will have nothing on Modi. Assurances to the contrary are falling on deaf ears.

I think a fundamental political realignment is on its way. And Maharashtra shows the way. Recently the Shiv Sena ditched Modi's BJP, and the Shiv Sena has been the BJP's staunchest ally over the decades. The pendulum has started to swing in the other direction. At this rate the next election slated for 2024 might see the BJP emerge as the largest but a minority party, with the second-largest, the Congress, propping the leader of a smaller party for Prime Minister. That might as well be Mamata Banerjee. That could be Prashant Kishor. The kingmaker should become king.

Too much political organizing, too much efficiency, Amit Shah style, can also be a bad thing if it stifles debate. It can lead to democratic erosion. The famously chaotic Congress party might be in luck now.

The Vikash Purush is now being seen as the Social Vinash Purush, a destructive force. Dominoes will start to fall much before 2024. Maharashtra might be the first of many to come. This could be Modi's last term, and I don't see Amit Shah ever becoming Prime Minister.

Prashant Kishor should take his party, the JD(U), to at least six states. He has the option to become the Indian Macron.

India Citizenship Bill Debate (2)
India Citizenship Bill Debate
Biometric ID And Citizenship Solutions
India's Contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill
2019 Photos
Has India Gone Crazy?

NRC demonetisation of citizenship, says Prashant Kishor A day after he said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is against a nationwide NRC, senior JD (U) leader Prashant Kishor on Sunday said the idea of a nationwide NRC is equivalent to “demonetisation of citizenship” which is “invalid” until proved. The state BJP responded by saying NRC was its “future agenda” and there was no need for alliance partner JD (U) to engage in any propaganda over it. ........... The JD(U) leader, who had criticised his party for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, met Nitish on Sunday to sort out differences and came out with the party’s new stand — “NRC with CAB is dangerous and discriminatory”.

Sharad Pawar: Country needs alternative to BJP that stays in India Responding to a query of reporters in Nagpur on whether an anti-BJP coalition was in the making at the national level, the NCP president said, "There are some indications that anti-BJP sentiments are on the rise in some parts of the country." ...... Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he had met South Korea Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon during a visit to the country. His visit to South Korea came amid widespread protests over the amended citizenship law in various parts of India. ....... “It was expected that the unrest would remain confined to certain states.” ........ He said that contrary to the BJP’s expectation that the new law would be welcomed in certain states, it was being opposed in the party-ruled Assam too.

Jamia unrest: Priyanka, Prashant Kishor attack Centre
Citizenship Amendment Act dangerous if it goes along with NRC: Prashant Kishor
Arvind Kejriwal ropes in Prashant Kishor for Delhi Assembly elections

Nitish Kumar says no to Prashant Kishor's offer to resign Prashant Kishor has differences with Nitish Kumar supporting CAA. JD(U) Vice-President Prashant Kishore had also expressed his displeasure through a tweet and appealed to Nitish Kumar to not support the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha. But the JD(U) supported the Bill in both Houses of Parliament....... On Wednesday, Kishor had tweeted the legislation could turn into a lethal combo (with NRC) to systematically discriminate and even prosecute people based on religion.

Back With a Bang? Crafted by Prashant Kishor, How a Single Strategy Helped Mamata Regain Ground Ahead of Bypoll Test Since Kishor launched 'Didi Ke Bolo' on July 29, the TMC has not only managed to recapture several municipalities that had shifted to the BJP but also win the confidence of strong ground-level leaders to rejoin the party........ the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made massive gains in West Bengal, winning 18 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats, up from just two in 2014. After that, her party lost seven municipalities to the BJP, as a majority of them switched over to the saffron outfit....... While the TMC was on the back foot, Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister, had secretly picked political strategist Prashant Kishor on June 6 to get the party on track ....... After 54 days of Kishor's appointment, the outreach programme Didi Ke Bolo (Tell Didi) was launched on July 29, and in a span of nearly 180 days the TMC has not only managed to recapture all the seven municipalities which went to the BJP (due to a switchover) but also win the confidence of strong ground level leaders to rejoin the TMC........ His first major campaign was in 2011 when he secured the victory of Narendra Modi in Gujarat for a third term as chief minister. The 42-year-old trained in public health and worked with the United Nations for several years before entering the Indian political scene.......... He came under the spotlight when he helped Modi and the BJP win the 2014 general elections with innovative canvassing techniques: the chai pe charcha (talks over tea) campaign, 3D rallies, conclaves and social media programmes. Since then, Kishor has aided in electing to power JD(U)'s Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Congress's Amarinder Singh in Punjab and the YSRCP's YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh. ........ As per the TMC’s internal assessment, more than 2,000 strong leaders – who actually have the capability to turn the tables – have come back to the Trinamool in the last six months. Most of them are booth leaders, having a great connect at the grassroots level.......... On November 7, Mamata Banerjee personally assessed the impact of Prashant Kishor’s ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ campaign in Bengal. The review meeting was held at Trinamool Bhawan in North Panchanna Gram where all the party leaders including MLAs, MPs and district presidents were asked to be present. The campaign provides a platform to the people to directly lodge complaints with the chief minister. Anyone can reach out to her by calling ‘9137091370’ or by logging onto, with their suggestions and problems....... more than 30 lakh people have made calls, expressing their suggestions and grievances. Banerjee was impressed with the impact on the ground level...... More than 250 party workers are engaged round the clock not only to ensure each and every grievance/suggestion reaches the chief minister but also list them in various trackers and buckets for swift resolution. As suggested by Kishor, there are separate buckets for all the government schemes for people and multiple trackers for each to keep an eye on how many issues have been resolved and the time taken.

2024: Possible Lok Sabha Composition

BJP: 150

Anti-BJP Coalition (ABC):
Congress: 60
JD (U): 50 (25 in Bihar, 25 outside Bihar)
Trianmool Congress: 40
Shiv Sena: 20
LJP (Paswan): 6
RJD: 10
DMK: 15
YSR Congress: 20
BJD: 20
BSP: 30
SP: 30
NCP: 10
CPI (M): 10
TRS: 10
TDP: 5
AAP: 4
Total: 360
Others: 33

Friday, May 17, 2019

India 2019: The Final Lap

Thursday, May 16, 2019

India 2019: Congress Not Wanting PM Position Is A Game Changer

"Central Role" For Rahul Gandhi In Forming New Government: Tejashwi Yadav
Rahul Gandhi's Hands-On Solution After Helicopter Glitch In Himachal
Congress not averse to supporting regional party leader for PM post: Ghulam Nabi Azad
TRS not averse to go with Congress, if PM is regional
Lok Sabha Elections 2019: PM Modi Is "Losing And Is Desperate", Says Congress Leader Salman Khurshid He said, "He is changing course because he is desperate. He knows he is losing and he is desperate. You just compare the last campaign with this campaign. He was in control of that campaign but he is not in control of this campaign."
Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Highlights: Sonia Gandhi Writes To Party Leaders For May 23 Opposition Meet

The Congress declaring it does not necessarily want a PM from the Congress party is a game changer. That vastly expands the possibilities of UPA-4. It will become harder for the BJP to pull in a few more parties even if it is near something like 250. Some current members of the NDA like Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan might desert the NDA if push comes to shove.

But the Congress supporting from the outside drama should not be enacted. Whoever comes to power should give a full five-year term. PM or no PM the Congress must participate in the government.

Step one has to be to form the coalition, UPA-4. This is a new, expanded coalition. Then those aspiring for leadership should come forward, and the pool of MPs should vote, in two rounds if necessary. That would be the most stable way to do it. Backroom consensus building is b.s. And each party's strength would get reflected in the cabinet. So the Congress would get the largest number of ministers.

I would think Rahul Gandhi would be most suitable for Convenor of the coalition, and the best person to serve as PM would be Chandrababu Naidu, who just so happens to be the most senior politician in the country.

This move by Congress is not necessarily magnanimous. No matter what happens, the Congress by itself will be much smaller than all the smaller parties combined. This is just respecting arithmetic. This is basic democracy.

Convenor of UPA-4: Rahul Gandhi
Prime Minister: Chandrababu Naidu
Defense Minister: Mayawati
Telecommunications Minister: Akhilesh Yadav

Naidu because he could give India double-digit growth rates.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Could Arithmetic Force Modi And Rahul To Team Up?

What the final tally will be is anybody's guess right now, but let's say this is how it rolls: "...the post-poll scenario will be dictated by regional parties that will climb back to the pre-2014 situation with 223-225 estimate is that BJP’s tally will be around 170-180, down from 282 in 2014 and Congress’ may rise to 140-150, which will be phenomenal from 44 in 2014 ..... "

BJP and allies: 170-180
Congress and allies: 140-150.
Federal Front: 200-220

Most people might suggest this means the Federal Front will get the Prime Minister with outside support from the Congress. But then no regional party might get more than 30 MPs.

Another option would be for the BJP and the Congress to come together with Modi as Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi as Deputy Prime Minister. That might be a more stable government. In a democracy, you respect the people's verdict. Modi has made remarkable progress on issues like ease of doing business and infrastructure, whereas Rahul Gandhi has come up with the wonderful idea of a Universal Basic Income for the bottom 20% of the people. Country above party, as both like to say.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

India 2019: The Suspense

If the BJP-led alliance is at 250 or above, it might be able to still cobble together a majority by pulling in a few parties. But if the tally is closer to 200, that opens up the distinct possibility of the emergence of a new Prime Minister. As to who that new face will be is not at all clear.

The total number of seats is 545. That puts the halfway mark at 273. There are three camps: the BJP-led alliance, the Congress-led alliance, and the unaffiliated, sometimes known as the Federal Front. It is possible the unaffiliated could emerge as the second largest block after the Congress-led alliance and seek the outside support of the Congress-led alliance. As in, the BJP-led alliance could emerge the largest but not the majority block and still have to sit out.

Or Modi could easily hit 300. It is hard to tell.

NDA: 250-300, UPA: 80-120, FF: 160-200. If the Federal Front crosses 200, it might as well claim the top job.

On election results, it is best to keep an open mind One of the great charms of Indian democracy is the power of the silent voters ....... When the counting began for the 2014 election, there was very little expectation that some four hours later India would be witnessing a clear Narendra Modi victory, an event that was subsequently to be described as a ‘wave’. As Prannoy Roy has written in a recent book, even the outcome of the tsunami election of 1984 was largely unanticipated by the pundits........ the larger suspense will persist till the morning of May 23. ....... particularly true of rural women whose voting preferences are often not robustly factored in....... In the Delhi assembly election of 2013, the Aam Aadmi Party made its electoral debut. Its campaign was enthusiastic but not very organized. That was evident on polling day when the AAP’s patchy presence contrasted with the organized approach of both the Congress and the BJP. Yet, AAP performed spectacularly and came within a whisker of upstaging the BJP as the single largest party.......... Modi’s meetings in West Bengal for example have been hugely attended. The numbers attending are also far in excess of what the BJP’s weak organizational apparatus in the state can mobilize. Indeed, the success of these meetings has forced the West Bengal chief minister to organize many more public meetings than she originally planned. In places where the crowds have not matched her expectations, she has followed the meetings with a padayatra....... the raw human emotion of an election is never captured by surveys and exit polls. This is why it is best to approach the morning of May 23 with an open mind.

BJP banks on Bengal Ground reports from three rounds of polling indicate that the party could lose a chunk of the seats it had won in 2014 ...... “We could lose around 50 seats we had won in 2014 in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar and Jharkhand. However, we are confident of springing a surprise in Bengal, Odisha and also in the Northeast to an extent to offset the losses,” one of the BJP leaders monitoring the party’s election war room in Delhi said...... “We are banking heavily on Bengal and Odisha. If we falter in these states, our tally will come down substantially,” another BJP leader said. “It would be very difficult for us to come close to the majority mark if the showing is not good in Bengal and Odisha,” the leader added....... “Our feedback shows there is a high chance of us winning between 10-15 seats in Bengal and anything between 5-10 seats in Odisha,” a BJP leader said....... The most serious losses are being feared in Uttar Pradesh, owing to the formidable BSP-SP-RLD alliance. ....The BJP has received reports of losses in Maharashtra owing to acute agrarian distress and the Congress-NCP alliance.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

India 2019: Some Projections

Scenario 1: The BJP led alliance falls short of the halfway mark and quickly pulls in a few regional parties to form a majority. This was the talk of the town yesterday.

Scenario 2: The BJP improves on its tally from 2014. This might not be likely.

Scenario 3: The BJP does less well than in 2014 but still manages to cross the majority mark and forms another government for five years.

Scenario 4: The arithmetic is tri-polar: the BJP led alliance, the Congress-led alliance which is much smaller, and the non-BJP, non-Congress Federal Front alliance which asks the Congress for outside support to form a government.

Right now scenario one seems to be in the air. People are talking about it. But nobody knows for sure.

Somebody like the Orissa chief minister Patnayak might be willing to support the BJP led alliance in the case the need arises.

Monday, May 06, 2019

The Indian Election: Hard To Predict

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Who Will Win India 2019?

A national election in the world's largest democracy is quite an event. It goes on for weeks for one. The campaign itself lasts only a few weeks. It is not a year-long lurch like in the US. But then, at some level, the campaign is never over. There is always a major election right around the corner somewhere in India. Only a few months back the Congress elbowed the BJP out of power in three major states. But then the Pakistan-India ruckus happened, and that was advantage BJP, politically speaking.

Polls are notoriously off in India. Poll numbers have missed the mark consistently over the last several elections. It might be because the majority of Indian voters are out of reach for pollsters. In the 2014 election, the BJP performed much better than any poll had forecast. It ended up with a comfortable majority. It was a replay of the Rajiv Gandhi victory for Congress in 1984.

What will happen this time? It is hard to tell. Has Modi delivered? Yes and no. The land reform and the labor market reform that might have upped job creation were both opposed and successfully, despite Modi throwing his weight behind them. Major work has been done on the infrastructure front. India has climbed up in the ease of doing business index. The jump is huge. Through his relentless travels, Modi has put India on the global map.

But then Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost in 2004. It looked like he might win.

Right now looks like the BJP led alliance, the NDA, will win, and Modi will come back as Prime Minister. But should that not happen do not expect Rahul Gandhi to become Prime Minister. The non-Congress, non-BJP parties will want someone like Mamata Banerjee or Chandrababu Naidu to take the lead. But Modi is still the most popular politician in India by a wide margin. He does not seem to have competition.

NDA to win majority with 283 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls: Times Now-VMR survey
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is likely to come to power with a majority on its own, an opinion poll by Times Now-VMR completed after the Balakot air strikes has predicted. The survey predicted the NDA to get as much as 282 seats - 10 over the halfway mark - leaving the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance ( UPA) way behind with 136 seats. Other parties which include the SP-BSP-RLD and non aligned parties like the BJD, Telangana Rashtriya party and YSR Congress could end up with 136. The predicted tally for the NDA is 54 seats less than what it got in 2014.

Math Over Popularity In UP, Edge For Gathbandhan: Prannoy Roy's Analysis
the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav combo alone could bring down the NDA score in the state from 73 to 37, even if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity is at the level of the 2014 national election....... The addition of Congress to the mix could have deducted another 14 seats from the NDA tally, reducing it to 23 seats, data shows.
Lok Sabha polls: Modi-BJP show all the way, no chance for Rahul Gandhi as PM, predicts satta bazaar
The satta bazaar predicts 55 seats for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh
The Man Who Predicted 2014 Indian Election Reveals Who Will Take The Throne In 2019
The last election was not about the party but the leader. Similarly, the 2019 election will also be about the leader. The seasoned people are talking about party politics while the youth is focused on the leader ..... the world will be ruled by four nationalist Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Benjamin Netanyahu. ....... I am picking data from rural India. How many families have benefited from the cooking gas and electricity? How many have got access to toilets and how many kids are going to school now? When I study this I am getting a figure of fifty crore. Even in forty-fifty crore, being a conservative I divide it by two, it is twenty crore. You know in 2014, the elections were won by a small margin of 1.4 crore and here you have a larger swing. So my calculation says 2019 belongs to Modi.
Why India's Pollsters Will Have A Tough Time Predicting Election 2019 In the last three elections, opinion polls have been significantly off the mark.
in the last three elections, polls have been significantly off the mark. In 2004 and 2009 the victorious Congress alliance was completely underestimated, while in 2014 only Bajaj’s firm predicted the BJP would win an outright majority. ..... if two regional parties already in alliance joined forces with the main opposition Congress, the BJP would be wiped out in the state, almost certainly losing power nationally.
BJP will lose seats but win 2019 Lok Sabha polls, says survey August 21, 2018
According to the India Today’s Mood of the Nation (MOTN) July 2018 poll, the NDA will be back in power with 281 seats, nine seats ahead of the half-way mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha. However, but the BJP will lose its majority and slide down to 245 seats. The UPA will be far behind with 122 seats and the Congress will increase its tally to 83 seats. ..... The BJP, according to the poll, will come down from the 282 seats it had won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections but will increase its vote share from 31.34 per cent to 36 per cent. ..... The Congress, on the other hand, will increase its seat tally from the 44 it won in 2014 to 83 seats, while its vote share will go up from 19.52 to 31 per cent...... The ‘Others’, who are basically fence-sitters, are predicted to get a whopping 140 seats with a 33 per cent of the vote share in the Lok Sabha. ...... Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to be the favourite for the top job with 49 per cent of the respondents rooting for him while 27 per cent of the respondents favoured Congress President Rahul Gandhi for the post.
Prashant Kishor's PM Prediction for 2019 Polls Will Have BJP Cheering
Prashant Kishor said on Monday that Narendra Modi would return as the Prime Minister after Lok Sabha polls ..... A resident of Buxar district in the state, Kishor shot to fame in 2014 when he managed the poll campaign for Narendra Modi, then the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP, which went on to put up its best-ever electoral performance....... A year later, he collaborated with Kumar who returned to power for his third consecutive term after registering a handsome victory in the assembly polls...... Among NDA constituents, the JD(U) is the third largest after the BJP and the Shiv Sena.
2019 Elections in India: Modi Won't Have It Easy January 3, 2019
Contrary to the traditional political punditry that the 2019 elections would be a ritual to re-elect the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the miraculous return of the opposition Indian National Congress (INC) under Rahul Gandhi in state elections has thrown a major spanner in Modi’s works. ...... The INC has thrashed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh (114 of 230 seats), Rajasthan (99 of the 200 seats) and Chhattisgarh (68 of the 90 seats), which account for 65 seats in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of India’s bicameral parliament). In the 2014 general elections, the BJP had won 62 of these 65 seats. ........ When the BJP swept to power in 2014, winning 282 of the 543 seats, it became the first political party in thirty years to win an outright majority in India. ...... The regional and sub-national parties will the x-factor in India’s 2019 election. They would be the kingmakers who will be critical in determining who forms the next government.
Inside India's Colossal, Colorful, Tough-to-Predict Election
India’s elections have been notoriously difficult to predict because of the endless possibilities of coalitions. ...... In 2014, the Election Commission of India deployed 3.7 million polling staff, 550,000 security personnel, 56 helicopters and 570 special trains to conduct a five-week-long exercise in close to a million polling stations. ...... The commission sets up a polling booth for a lone voter in the Gir forest in western state of Gujarat, where lions roam. It also protected a polling station in Chhattisgarh by deploying a medical team to prevent a swarm of honeybees attacking voters....... now 430 million Indians own a smartphone, half a billion use the Internet, 300 million use Facebook, 200 million send messages on WhatsApp and 30 million are on Twitter. It means political parties and candidates will aggressively use new technology and social media to win the hearts and minds of young voters.
Why opinion poll predictions are drifting away from reality
View: Nobody knows anything about India's huge elections
The last elections, in 2014, threw up a result that had been unthinkable for three decades: a clear majority for one party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. While repeating that mandate isn’t impossible, it will be extremely difficult. The BJP doesn’t have much of a presence outside the north and west of India and, for its majority in 2014, it had to win almost all the seats in which it was competitive. In the end, Modi himself only won a little more than 30 per cent of the vote. ...... This time around, Modi faces a more difficult task. Memories of the Congress years have faded. And his own performance as prime minister has been, at best, underwhelming. Government officials may claim that India is growing faster now than it ever has, but few people believe that. What everyone knows is that jobs are hard to come by and that farmers in particular are suffering. ....... He has never stopped campaigning. In 2014, he was an exciting novelty; in 2019 he is an institution. His face is everywhere, on walls and in newspapers, above reminders of one government welfare program or another. He has a radio show, his government can count on support from tame television channels and, of course, he still has Twitter. ..... voters aren’t pleased with the state of the economy or with the BJP’s administrative skills. ..... Few outside Modi’s own circle believed that he would win a majority in 2014. In 1999, the BJP won fewer seats -- after a border skirmish with Pakistan -- than predicted. In 2004, the BJP government was unexpectedly voted out. And, in 2009, the Congress increase in seat strength startled pretty much every observer. ..... Nobody ever knows quite what the Indian electorate will produce on counting day.
Will BJP win Lok Sabha polls 2019? Here's what top pollsters predict