By Aravind Govekar
THE Exit Polls are over. As is always the case, the actual results can be totally different from the Exit Polls which can be manipulated or which are a product of unscientific methodology. The reliability of Exit Polls depends on the sample size as well as the sampling techniques. Small sample size in a culturally diverse population may not yield reliable results.
The Exit Polls has indicated BJP’s win in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. While BJP’s win in Rajasthan was widely expected, the Exit Poll news about Madhya Pradesh is shocking. No independent commentator expected the BJP to win in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress win in Chhattisgarh is on expected lines. The Telangana results however can be a pleasant surprise for the Congress. There are rumors that are floating that Ashok Gehlot has begun looking for support from Independent candidates since he is expecting to be very close to the majority mark in Rajasthan. It is to be seen whether his optimism is realistic or just hopes against hopes.
AFTER the Exit Poll results published last night (November 30), it seems likely that out of the five states, the BJP may win in two, Congress in two and Congress-supported regional party in one.
The last Lok Sabha elections were held between April 11 and May 19, 2019. This means that the next Lok Sabha elections have to be held in the month of April-May next year, allowing a period of four clear months to political parties to prepare for the elections. The I.N.D.I.A. (Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance), an alliance of a majority of opposition parties commanding a vote share of about 62% in the last Lok Sabha Elections has sent shivers down the spine of the BJP and RSS.
The moderate success of Congress in the recently concluded Assembly Elections can be the blessing in disguise for the opposition alliance as the Congress would now be less aggressive and more cooperative in the distribution of Lok Sabha tickets among the constituent political parties.
Satyapal Malik, the former governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Goa and Meghalaya, in an interview to Karan Thapar, predicted that BJP would not win more than 100 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections if opposition parties succeed in putting up a single candidate against the BJP in all Lok Sabha Constituencies. Malik also predicted that as in 2019 the BJP may resort to some desperate tactics to polarize Hindu votes in 2024.
THE deliberate refusal of the BJP to order a judicial enquiry into the failure of Central and State government departments to prevent the massive terrorist attack in Pulwama in 2019, was obviously a part of its political strategy to use Pulwama to whip up nationalist sentiments before the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Malik felt that if I.N.D.I.A. succeeds in sticking together and putting up a common candidate in all constituencies, the BJP might takes some extreme steps to polarize communal or nationalist sentiments.
According to Punya Prasun Bajpai, a famous political commentator who resigned from “a bought over” member of mainstream media and started YouTube Channel of his own and reported that the BJP will adopt a following strategy during the 4 months before the Lok Sabha Election :
In the month of December, the BJP propaganda machine will dangle unprecedented dreams before the nation’s eyes about the economic and political standing of Bharat on the world scene. The Vice-President of India, who is ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha has already called Modi a “Yugpurush” (hero of the century). He said Mahatma Gandhi was a “Mahapurush” of the 20th century and Modi is the “Yugpurush” of the 21st century.
Come 2024 the month of January will see a religious “parv” (festival) whipped up among Indians at home and abroad surrounding the occasion of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The agencies of the government will step up the accelerator on aggressive action under FEMA, PLMA, UAPA, etc against top opposition leaders.
Communal polarization is the most favorite weapon of BJP. It seems to have been effectively used in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the recently over elections. It remains to be seen whether I.N.D.I.A. can effectively fight polarization and other strategies of the BJP in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.