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Frankly, No One Has A Clue...

But what's the harm in guessing? First Arun Nehru in Deccan Chronicle:

I still see both the Congress and the BJP getting close to 300 seats between them. Either of them could form a stable government and the floating vote may stabilise in favour of either party. In states where both are in contention we may see the biggest changes in the next few weeks.

A swing of 20 seats in either direction can change the existing power equations and I think this may well happen as the voter is generally ahead of most political parties.

I find a distinct change in the mood of the electorate as several chief ministers returned to power beating anti-incumbency trends. There is a premium on integrity and good governance based on stability

Graphic Courtesy Deccan Chronicle

And then DNA editors, who now show the UPA losing big and the Others gaining this week:

Graphic Courtesy DNA

Swapan Dasgupta says, "Phase 2 has been very good for the BJP and its allies, good for BSP, not so good for the Congress and somewhat disastrous for the so-called Fourth Front"

MJ Akbar said it best:

Sharad Pawar, it has been suggested, has thrown a cat among the pigeons by opening a can of prime ministers. He may have done something more worrisome than that. He may have thrown a pigeon among the cats.

And another useful insight:

The Left read a clear message in this decision. The Congress wastreating the Left, rather than the BJP, as its principal enemy in thisgeneral election. How? Because in the states where an alliance wouldhave hurt the BJP, like Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, theCongress rejected an alliance with leaders who could have helped defeatthe BJP, like Shibu Soren, Lalu Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and MulayamSingh Yadav. The distribution of seats in Jharkhand had even beenannounced, but the arrangement collapsed suddenly, and inexplicably, atthe last minute. As a consequence, the BJP will pick up vital extraseats in a state where it was comprehensively defeated five years ago.The Marxists do not consider this accidental. They believe this to be partof a careful Congress strategy to marginalise the Left. There isnothing personal or sentimental about their response.
They will notpermit Congress to lead another Government because they are convincedthat the Congress will use every tactic, political and administrative,behind a screen of conciliatory words, to pursue the same objective ifit returns to Government. They know it is a battle of survival and theyintend to survive.

More here

But what's the harm in guessing? First Arun Nehru in Deccan Chronicle:

I still see both the Congress and the BJP getting close to 300 seats between them. Either of them could form a stable government and the floating vote may stabilise in favour of either party. In states where both are in contention we may see the biggest changes in the next few weeks.

A swing of 20 seats in either direction can change the existing power equations and I think this may well happen as the voter is generally ahead of most political parties.

I find a distinct change in the mood of the electorate as several chief ministers returned to power beating anti-incumbency trends. There is a premium on integrity and good governance based on stability

Graphic Courtesy Deccan Chronicle

And then DNA editors, who now show the UPA losing big and the Others gaining this week:

Graphic Courtesy DNA

Swapan Dasgupta says, "Phase 2 has been very good for the BJP and its allies, good for BSP, not so good for the Congress and somewhat disastrous for the so-called Fourth Front"

MJ Akbar said it best:

Sharad Pawar, it has been suggested, has thrown a cat among the pigeons by opening a can of prime ministers. He may have done something more worrisome than that. He may have thrown a pigeon among the cats.

And another useful insight:

The Left read a clear message in this decision. The Congress wastreating the Left, rather than the BJP, as its principal enemy in thisgeneral election. How? Because in the states where an alliance wouldhave hurt the BJP, like Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, theCongress rejected an alliance with leaders who could have helped defeatthe BJP, like Shibu Soren, Lalu Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and MulayamSingh Yadav. The distribution of seats in Jharkhand had even beenannounced, but the arrangement collapsed suddenly, and inexplicably, atthe last minute. As a consequence, the BJP will pick up vital extraseats in a state where it was comprehensively defeated five years ago.The Marxists do not consider this accidental. They believe this to be partof a careful Congress strategy to marginalise the Left. There isnothing personal or sentimental about their response.
They will notpermit Congress to lead another Government because they are convincedthat the Congress will use every tactic, political and administrative,behind a screen of conciliatory words, to pursue the same objective ifit returns to Government. They know it is a battle of survival and theyintend to survive.

More here

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