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As elections near, what are the influences and issues playing on the mind of the electorate?

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Daily Mail
Apr 28, 2014
The Poll Curry Is On The Boil

Please don’t be taken in by the punditry on Indian electi­ons; poll pundits are almost always wrong, given that their conclusions are arrived at in the big cities and not in the hinterland (The Next Station, April 14). You cannot, therefore, count on Modi sweeping this election; the middle-class voter you have spoken to probably does not even go out and vote. Now, let me hazard a prediction. Modi, in all probability, will do much worse than the pundits expect; the Congress will do slightly better than the decimation predicted for it; the AAP will probably do better than expected though not like it did in the Delhi assembly polls. An AAP-Congress-led coalition government is the most likely scenario.

Kishore Kant, Delhi

Though it is difficult to assess the exact influences and iss­ues playing on the mind of the electorate, certain things are clear, going by the outcome of the recent state elections. The traditional politics of poverty, identity, doles failed to win vot­ers, who crossed all dividing lines in reelecting govern­m­ents which delivered on dev­elopment and governance.

M.C. Joshi, Lucknow

Given the rate at which Outlook is going about analysing the right, left and centre of Modi’s brain, I won’t be surprised if Wendy Doniger psychoanalyses him next.

Akash Verma, Chennai

These Lok Sabha elections are extremely crucial. It is about our battle for safeguarding democracy and the country’s secular fabric. The BJP, which is so desperate to grab power, is today manned by RSS fanatics. They do not stand for secularism and do not care about democratic values. The BJP has even muzzled and manipulated most of the press. Unless freedom of speech and tolerance of all communities prevail, there cannot be justice and equality in any society. Narendra Modi needs to reveal the source of the thousands of crores he has spent over the last year in his dream to be prime minister. The people of India will not be fooled. India will win.

Aires Rodrigues, Goa

First they said Modi won’t become Gujarat chief minister. He did. Then they said he won’t win the Gujarat election. He did. Then they said he won’t win the second election. He did. Then they said he won’t be appointed election in-charge for 2014. He was. Then they said he won’t be appointed PM nominee. He has been. Now they’re saying he won’t become PM....

Arun Kumar, Hyderabad

The women in the inside cover picture have grim faces because Big Brother is watching them (Modi in the poster).

V.N.K. Murti Pattambi, Naduvattam, Kerala

The corpse of democracy is being taken for cremation with much razzle and dazzle.

Kishore Dasmunshi, Calcutta

Apr 05, 2014
01:09 PM

The photograph of serious minded women travelling on the Delhi Metro, either to work, or back home to the responsibilities of the family, brings to mind the song, Yeh safar hai kathin magar, Na udaas ho mere humsafar. Nahin rehne wali yeh mushqilein ...

ashok lal
mumbai, India
Apr 05, 2014
02:31 PM

Its evident that the new voters has not taken electoral politics
seriously. The ideology has apparently died. What left is social media
and the thrill of five minutes fame. The only solace is they are outspoken
and against corrupt practices. They love freedom and if at all they vote
they prefer to NOTA


V.N.K.Murti Pattambi
Apr 05, 2014
02:49 PM

The grim faces of women commuters in 'cover story'
reminds the state of affairs in 'next station' home and
not of their capability to change things in 'polling station'


V.N.K.Murti Pattambi
Apr 05, 2014
04:42 PM

” Zoya Hasan, a political scientist, calls the high-voltage propaganda “grotesque and ugly” and senses that voters may be swayed by Modi and the BJP’s campaign.

Is it for pearls of wisdom such as this that these 'inellectuals' get paid? What else is the purpose of an election but to sway voters in ones favour? The BJP's campaign is "grotesque and ugly" to Zoya, because it is successful. She would much rather they ran a "beautiful" campaign like that of Mr Nonsense and be thrashed at the polls.

Chennai, India
Apr 05, 2014
07:55 PM


Rajneesh Batra
New Delhi, India
Apr 05, 2014
08:22 PM

VNK Murthi >> The grim faces of women commuters in 'cover story'
reminds the state of affairs in 'next station' home and
not of their capability to change things in 'polling station'

In india, the Single biggest concern of Women is Inflation. In last 66 years, CON party has ruled most of the time and they believe in inflation as a economic policy (giving funds to vested interests in garb of socialsm and debasing money and refusing to invest in supply side). That is the reason for the grim faces of women commuters, but we should care least since we as voters are duty bound to ensure that the dynasty stays in power.

Delhi, India
Apr 05, 2014
08:25 PM

It is amusing that OUTLOOK could not find a single voter who is interested in electing SHRI RAHUL GANDHI as our next PM

Delhi, India
Apr 05, 2014
08:40 PM

I would also add that the most resounding aspect of this general election is that this is the FIRST EVER GENERAL ELECTION IN INDIA where , when talking about the ISSUES and PERSONALITIES and AGENDAS, the CON Party and its pretty Prince (Rahul) and queen (Sonia) and its Prime Ministerial Candidate (MMS) are COMPLETELY ABSENT..

Is a Single Voter or media person talking about MMS or his 10 year government ? No..

Is there a single debate on the UPA's so called good governance ? No..

Even Gulzarilal Nanda, the stop gap caretaker PM (when LBshastri died) did not get such a poor attention..

That says it all.. The less than 100 seats that CON Party is going to get .. in that, most of it will be not because of CON dynasty, but despite CON dynasty..

That says it all...

Delhi, India
Apr 05, 2014
09:49 PM

@ Ramki - Gulzarilal Nanda, the stop gap caretaker PM (when LBshastri died)

Gulzarilal Nanda performed the same role earlier when Jawaharlal Nehru died.

Visakhapatnam, India
Apr 05, 2014
11:36 PM

Politicians who can subtly tap conscious or subconscious group prejudices have a better chance of success in India than they would in France or Denmark, or even in today's Germany.

Dallas, United States
Apr 06, 2014
12:46 AM

1. First they said, Modi will not win his first Gujarat CM election. He won.

2. Then they said, Modi will not win his second Gujarat CM election. He won.

3. Then they said, Modi will not win his third Gujarat CM election. He won.

4. Then they said, Modi will not be appointed as the 2014 elections incharge. He was appointed.

5. Then they said, Modi will not be acquitted of all charges. He was acquitted.

6. Then they said, Modi will not be made the PM nominee. He is now the PM nominee.

7. Then they said, Modi will not attract any allies. Now the allies are falling over each other to support him.

8. Now they are saying that Modi will not get 272+. Infact Modi will get 300+ and become the PM on May 16th, 2014.

9. Then they will say, Modi will not win a second term as PM. Infact Modi will get 400+ in 2019 elections and will be again the PM.

10. Then they will say, Modi cannot get a third term as PM. Infact Modi will be the PM of India for the next 25 years.

Arun Kumar
Hyderabad, India
Apr 06, 2014
05:04 AM

I have only one issue on my mind as the elections approach - defeat, dissolve and destroy the congress party. That's the best thing that can happen to India and its youth.

Ravi Jain
Hyderabad, India
Apr 06, 2014
11:42 AM

The Hindus (by this includes all indigenous faiths of Bharat - Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees) in their own land have been dominated, enslaved and brutalised in the last 1000 years by the various barbarians and colonial powers. They even lost a third of their land to the barbarians in this process. Even after independence, the leftists, psuedo-secularists and italian remotes worked together to keep the Hindus divided and India weak. The result is a nation with 50% poverty, endemic corruption and perceived as weak by countries that are not even 10% of India's size.

Now the time has come for Hindus to redeem their self-respect and bring-in self rule. India always since times immemorial been a light-house civilization in the entire world with spiritual and intellectual leadership that was the envy of the world. Secularism is integral to Hinduism and minorities have lived/will live in peace and prosperity. Hindus have only one country and that is India. Let us bring back India to its glorious days.

Let us all ensure that we vote and we vote wisely. Golden opportunities do not come always. 2014 elections is a golden opportunity to bring in a prosperous and glorious India.

Arun Kumar
Hyderabad, India
Apr 06, 2014
01:31 PM

> “There is overkill in the BJP’s high-voltage propaganda. You can see that people may be swayed by that.” - Zoya Hasan.

This is true! People are being swayed by the campaign's glitz, razzle-dazzle, ostentation, poorly concealed deification and high decibel sloganeering even more than by Modi's subtle appeals to their baser natures, i.e. stoking their conscious or subconscious communal prejudices. Zoya Hasan rightly calls such campaign "grotesque and ugly".

Dallas, United States
Apr 06, 2014
03:12 PM

D 235 Ramki sir
" That is the reason for the grim faces of women commuters, but we should care least since we as voters are duty bound to ensure that the dynasty stays in power."
In 1977 Janatha party came to rule India.
After that many kichadi sarkaar ruled.
NDA got two chances to rule.
Still democratic India looked up at UPA to rule.

And now every party is nuturing Dynasty!!!
Pl remember that Menaka and Varun are also from the same family.

V.N.K.Murti Pattambi
Apr 06, 2014
10:16 PM

"There is overkill in the BJP’s high-voltage propaganda. You can see that people may be swayed by that.” Zoya Hasan, Political scientist"

What a genius this political scientist is!!! What is the purpose of a political campaign-if not to sway voters to your side?

This woman says this as a complaint.

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Apr 06, 2014
10:20 PM

Given the rate at which Outlook is going analyzing about the right and left side of brain etc, I am expecting a psycho analysis of Modi by Wendy Doniger in the next issue.

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Apr 06, 2014
10:39 PM

the corpse of democracy is being taken to cremation grounds with much razzle and dazzle!

Kolkatta, India
Apr 07, 2014
03:21 AM

Don't be taken in by punditry on Indian elections. Pundits are nearly always wrong in their predictions. They predicted the BJP would win the last two elections and it proved not so. Beware especially of opinion polls in India. The pollsters are lazy people who - one can't blame them - sit in a few big cities and are reluctant to tramp about in the countryside and the festering slums in the blazing sun to find out what the lower class Indian really thinks. Finding that out is very hard work and it is much easier to do a quick phone poll.

I repeat to all those running over with expectation that Modi will sweep the polls: DO NOT COUNT ON IT. The middle class which is most in favour of him as a rule do not even vote as they do not want to stand in line in the hot blazing sun. It is the slum dweller and the peasant who votes in India.

So I will hazard a prediction myself.

Modi will do much worse than is expected by the pundits. The Congress will do considerably better though they will lose some seats. The Aaam Admi Party (AAP) will do much better than people expect. Result: an AAP -Congress led coalition government.

Keep the champagne cold, Mod wallahs. You are in for another big disappointment.

Kishore Kant
Delhi, India
Apr 07, 2014
05:04 AM

Borrowing from Arun Kumar's line of argument;

First they did not believe BJP will nominate Modi as a PM candidate.  In fact, many in UPA were seceretely rooting for Modi's nomination.  They believed Modi is so controvercial, so communal, he will single handedly destroy BJP for good.  Modi may be liked in Gujarat but rest of the India will never accept him.

When that did not work to their liking, they started to attack Gujarat's development.  When they failed in that they said Gujarat was always a developed state.  Modi is just grabbing credit.

When nothing worked they are now saying Modi's popularity is not because of his qualification, but because BJP has over flooded country with advertizement.


P.B. Joshipura
Suffolk, Virginia, United States
Apr 07, 2014
10:56 AM

If the middle class is not going to vote, then they are going to have another congress led government not for the next 5 years but the next 20 years. Because the combined issues in this elections are the closest that a single party like the BJP can ever have, to get a majority on its own and form a scam free development oriented stable government.

And inspite of this, if the congress wins, then the congress for sure will rule the country realising that it can never be defeated electorally. The country could be on sale on ebay. This is precisely why the middle class will get up and vote in the hot blazing sun just for an hour or two rather than the other horrendous option of standing daily in the hot blazing sun in long job queues fighting for jobs that are not coming and battling inflation and crime that is always rising.

This elections signify change from a encrusted self-perpetuating dynasty that wants Indians to be weak living on government support TO a party where leaders rise on their own proven merit to provide development, jobs and enable Indians to live in self-respect and dignity both within and outside the country.

If middle class does not vote Modi or does not vote at all, then Rahul will be the PM for the next 20 years. The choice is thereby quite simple. Modi as PM or Rahul as PM. There is no other choice.

As far as AAP is concerned, from a party with serious and honourable intentions it has now become an entertainment party with only nuisance value. When power goes into the head suddenly, it becomes very intoxicating and the head reels under its influence. No middle class takes AAP seriously other than the fact that they are useful idiots. I have myself gone through the process of being a passionate AAP supporter to currently its strong detractor.

Arun Kumar
Hyderabad, India
Apr 07, 2014
03:27 PM

Cover story metro women commuters have 'grim' faces
because "Big brother is watching"  (from poster)

V.N.K.Murti Pattambi
Apr 09, 2014
02:29 AM

The picture shows that while women are the only 'real' people, men are just inanimate objects.

Chennai, India


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