Aggregate NDA tally for 2014 elections, based on on-ground predictions by experts sought out by Outlook in all 29 states
* BJP + Shiv Sena + SAD + INLD
The Biblical God created Man in his own image. Likewise, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) would like to fashion Indian democracy in its own image. But the script, though it parallels the Christian mythology of creation, slightly deviates from that: the Sangh parivar’s political engineers want to remould our multi-party democracy in the image of the American presidential contest. Consider the terminology used. Justifying the RSS’s hurried foisting of Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the party’s senior leader Arun Jaitley described the choice as the result of a “primary”. The campaign, too, is being projected as a binary: on one day, news channels juxtapose Modi’s speech against Rahul Gandhi’s; on another, a Modi speech from Gujarat is pitched to taunt Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ceremonial Independence Day speech from the Red Fort. Indian reality does, however, force its confusions on such a projection, with, say, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar putting his hat in the ring and upsetting the binary. What’s more, however strong the wishes of the BJP and Modi, they aren’t hurriedly turning into the horses that will carry them unhindered to victory.
Our feedback from India’s 29 states and opinion polls conducted by media groups and polling agencies don’t promise the BJP and the NDA any substantial increase in parliamentary seats outside northern and western India. In these regions, the BJP already has an optimum share...