The Poll of Polls reveals a slim majority to NDA
Before every major election, opinion polls keep Psephologists, political commentators, political parties and the voting people deeply engaged in debating the outcomes predicted in the poll.
2019 is no different and with two days to go before the first phase of voting commences, we have the Poll of Polls published by NDTV pointing to the NDA winning a slim majority.
Tread with caution here, as opinion polls are notorious for getting predictions wrong, sometimes drastically wrong, as happened during the 2014 sweep by Narendra Modi-led NDA. Nevertheless, the polls of polls is a consolidation of diverse polls undertaken by different agencies and do reflect the mood of the people, even if the prediction on seats may vary.
So, let’s look at the overall picture emerging.
The total Lok Sabha seats contested is 543 + 2 nominated seats = 545
- NDA: 274 (BJP 228)
- UPA: 140 (Congress 88)
- Other parties: 129
This shows the NDA just scraping past the half-way mark of 272. It is way too close for comfort or confidence to the NDA strategists and party cadres. Majority of the ‘other’ parties is expected to lean towards a non-NDA coalition with some joining hands to support in forming the NDA government.
In 2014, the NDA won 341 seats resulting from a Modi-wave. The big battle is expected to be in UP where 80 seats are in contention.
MP CM Kamal Nath faces heat over cash seizures during IT raids
The Economic Times reports of simultaneous raids conducted by the Income Tax department across various locations in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi resulting in seizures of unaccounted cash around Rs 281 crore along with several suspect diary entries, computers hard disks, etc., pointing to an extensive network of slush funds. The raids conducted were on close associates of Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath and investigations are underway at multiple locations. The Congress and other opposition parties have protested calling the raids politically motivated.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi once again challenges PM Modi to a debate
Mr. Gandhi has repeated his challenge to the Prime Minister saying “Sacred? Lets go open book”, reports the Hindustan Times. Rahul Gandhi has raised the issue of corruption and crony capitalism saying he was open to debate the PM on 1. Rafael + Anil Ambani; 2. Nirav Modi; 3. Demonetization + Amit Shah.
Several opinion polls, however, reveal the issues mentioned above do not seem to be impacting poll outcomes in any significant way and seat predictions are mostly along established voting patterns based on caste and basic issues like income and jobs.
Will RLD’s Ajit Singh trump Sanjeev Balyan of the BJP in western U.P?
RLD chief Ajit Singh, son of the former Prime Minister and popular Jat leader (late) Charan Singh, is back contesting in a region once his family’s stronghold – Muzzafarnagar. RLD is in an alliance with BSP and SP, and his fight will be with sitting BJP MP and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan. In 2014, Balyan had defeated the BSP candidate by four lakh votes and was expected to give Ajit Singh a tough fight.