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Outlook.com
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The Tsunamo Effect

29 experts predicted in Sep 2013 that the NDA could win up to 187 seats in the Lok Sabha, which they revised to

The Tsunamo Effect
The Tsunamo Effect
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53


Andhra figures are based on Leads + Results. Does not include the UTs.

THE NORTH

Out of the 154 seats in the eight northern states, BJP-led NDA eventually bagged 132 seats, largely because of a sweep in Uttar Pradesh. Our experts had predicted 81 in April, up from 61 in September 2013

Jammu & Kashmir (6)
Sep 2013 : 0
April 2014: 2
Final Verdict:  BJP 3

In my view, and based on my conversations with people in the run-up to polls, in Jammu I could see the Modi wave take hold. It is not surprising, the way the votes are falling here. It is clearly visible that Modi has appealed to the Hindus. But there’s more. I don’t think this is a pattern that will repeat during the assembly elections. Since 1996, when the BJP won 1 seat in the Jammu-Udhampur area, which was during the time of militancy, this was the next such election—totally polarising. Yes, in the rest of the state one can see the anger against the NC too. The NC-Congress alliance will go now, and certainly the PDP has improved its prospects for the coming Assembly elections. A lot also depends on what steps the new government takes—will it placate Muslim concerns? I don’t know. PDP, too, fielded a Hindu candidate and won votes from both communities here. People have made a distinction between voting nationally and locally, often repeating that they do support Azad (Congress) but will vote for him in Assembly elections.

Prof Rekha Chowdhary, former head, political science department, Jammu University.

***

Uttar Pradesh (80)
Sep 2013:  20        
April 2014:  30  
Final Verdict:  73 (71 BJP, 2 Apna Dal)

Most surprising in the UP verdict is the complete decimation of BSP. While Mayawati kept talking about Dalit pride and so on, Dalit youth are in dire need of jobs, many having got an education over the last few decades. Another big reason for BJP sweep is ground level polarisation. The whole Sangh Parivar was mobilised to spread Modi’s message, including his talk of able leadership, which gained credibility among people.

The BJP always claimed UP as a site of Hindu pilgrimages and so on but it never got unity around these issues. Now it has managed this. The SP retained a 23 per cent vote share but since BSP lost so terribly, there was no triangular contest in many places. BJP’s cocktail strategy of ‘Hindutva and development’ worked. It filled the vacuum left by Congress and others. The OBC factor worked in Modi’s favour too. While the SP spoke of giving Muslims 4.5 per cent quota, OBCs saw this as cutting into their share and favouritism to Muslims. BJP also cut into aspirational Dalit votes. The changes in UP started with the Jat-Muslim split post Muzaffarnagar riots, following which Kurmi and Lodha votes went the BJP’s way too. The Congress made many mistakes. Rahul Gandhi comes across as a reluctant leader while the party ignored its key constituency, the middle class. It only spoke of pro-poor schemes like NREGA and food security. Price rise was a big factor against Congress as were schemes like technocrat-driven Aadhaar. Combined with corruption, Congress became a big turn-off. Ultimately, Brahmins, Dalits, OBCs, all went for BJP.

Ram Dutt Tripathi, former BBC correspondent

***

Himachal Pradesh (4)
Sep 2013: 2
April 2014: 2
Final Verdict : 4

I am very surprised because we had thought that Mandi would go to the Congress at least, and three seats to the BJP, or perhaps two. Obviously there was a strong undercurrent of Modi which we couldn’t read, not even the experts. Disillusionment with UPA is one reason why the Congress campaigns did not work in the state. The UPA had also curtailed industrial packages given to Himachal during the BJP rule, Simla is still the only state capital without a rail link and the tourism sector fails to attract income generating high-end tourism. This time, Modi has made so many promises, going so far as to say Himachal is his second home, and a people desperate for change have voted BJP in. Himachalis are temperamentally docile and quiet, not used to agitating. That’s why I think the clamour for change has worked a quiet upheaval here.

Prof Vepa Rao, veteran journalist and political analyst.

***

Uttarakhand (5)
Sep 2013: 3
April 2014: 4
Final Verdict : BJP 5

All the trends and features of a liberal democracy, developed over decades in India, stand reversed. The high voltage national BJP campaign has displaced the intellectual space structured around discussions of region, caste and community so far. That is the trend you see reflected here in Uttarakhand results as well. This verdict is such that, nationally, huge concerns about minorities, liberal groups and their existence rise. Locally, too, the politically ignorant youth walked the Modi way and perhaps they will be disillusioned soon. People will tolerate much oppression swallowing the bitter pill of so-called development, for a long time now. In Uttarakhand too, the overall message delivered to people was—“Modi”. What Modi’s assurances conceal is that Uttarakhand lacks the financial resources to do many of the things promised. The Congress simply failed to project its candidates effectively or field the right ones.

Prof Karnail Singh Randhawa, Uttaranchal University

***

Punjab (13)
Sep 2013:10 (BJP-SAD)
April 2014:7 (BJP-SAD)  
Final Verdict:  
6 (BJP 2, SAD 4)

There is no future for AAP in Punjab. It was basically the double anti-incumbency that it has harvested. It is a party without a base, presence or agenda in Punjab. Most AAP candidates were 21 days old in politics, even though they may have good reputations. They have no history or baggage, but then they also lack a coherent politics. They have appropriated the space that the third front typically occupied in Punjab. If BJP has come down, from a 32 per cent vote share, it is discernible that there was a 10 per cent swing away from them. The important factor in Punjab is the anger people expressed against an arrogant Akali-BJP government. The constituencies that Akalis and BJP have lost are symbolic constituencies, meaning that the people have deliberately voted them out here just to teach them a lesson. One was expecting such a type of result.

—Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute of Development and Communication, Chandigarh.

***

Haryana (10)
Sep 2013 : 3-4        
April 2014:    8      
Final Verdict : BJP: 7

In the last national elections the Congress had 9 seats and there was one in Opposition. Now the situation has reversed, with NDA gaining 8 more and 1 Opposition. This is a ‘wave’ for sure. That is why all the other communities, social groups, identities have been replaced by a “direct” vote for Modi. People reported voting for BJP although they disliked candidates fielded by the party. They voted for BJP, I noticed, though they could not name who the BJP candidate was. The Jats once voted for the Congress and INLD, however, particularly among the young Jats, the move was towards BJP, because of Modi. There were constant protests against the Huda government on one or the other issue, from the nuclear plant to land acquisition. Interestingly, Modi did not speak up on land acquisition or Robert Vadra’s corruption when he addressed rallies in the state, though it was an issue.

—Shiv Kumar Vivek, Haryana editor, Dainik Bhaskar.

***

Delhi (7)
Sep 2013: 2
April 2014 : 2
Final Verdict: 7

The result is completely unexpected. We felt the floating voters would leave AAP but be adequately compensated by Muslims. Muslims did come out to vote but though the vote share increased for AAP, something went terribly wrong. There was an undercurrent of support for AAP in slum areas for sure, but it’s clear now that the middle class simply abandoned the party. Modi would have, normally, faced caste or social groups opposed to his brand of politics, but that didn’t happen either. The middle class does have a large section that is against reservations and so on, which contains a section swayed by the communal tilt, as also taken over by Modi’s propaganda machine. Now, that apart, there are the obvious facts that the people are angry with the Congress for its family politics, for its corruption, and that is what has unified all social groups uniformly towards BJP.

—Arvind Mohan, Senior journalist and political analyst

Madhya Pradesh (29)
Sep 2013: 20+
April 2014: 26      
Final Verdict: 27

It’s no surprise that BJP has 26 seats here. The victories are irrespective of the Modi factor—here, good leadership was the decisive factor, and that was already in favour of the chief minister. In the last elections, BJP’s tally had declined to 16 (2009) from 25 (2004). So Shivraj Chauhan knew and understood that he could not rest. Immediately after the assembly elections were over he hit the road. He started doing the rounds diligently and corrected the errors in ticket distribution in the past elections. The party replaced several MPs who had several terms behind them, and this worked in their favour. In Sipi, in Mandsour, in Ujjain, all new candidates won and they ensured not to waste even a day during the run-up to polls. So there was no need to bring up Modi in the state. If there was a wave, then would two central ministers of the Congress secure victories by a huger margin of over 1 lakh? I doubt it. Now, it may be that the victories were not on account of Modi factor. However, it can be said that the high margin of victories—by two lakhs and so on—were because of the Modi factor coming into play. One should also look at how the Congress operated in the state. They simply left the candidates to their own devices. Even when Kamal Nath finished his elections on the 10th, he was not seen campaigning for other leaders in subsequent rounds on the 17th or 24th. The Congress Party seems to have left the results to God.

—Girija Shankar, Political analyst, former editor, Deshbandhu.


WEST
Out of the 101 seats on offer, our experts predicted 56 in Sept 2013 and 68 in April 2013 as against the final verdict of a staggering 95 seats based on complete sweeps in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa and an astounding 42 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra

Maharashtra (48)
Sept 2013: < 25
April 2014: 32
Final Verdict: 42 (BJP 23, SS 18, Swabhimani Paksha 1)

All of us erred in our poll estimates for seats for BJP-Sena. This is not a Modi wave but Modi tsunami. Congress-NCP have managed just six seats and they have been wiped out. This victory is bigger than that of Janata Party in 1977 and VP Singh in 1989. All surveys have underestimated. Two reasons for this landslide in Maharashtra are—feudal and corrupt politics of Congress-NCP and the Modi wave. This is not so much about state leadership but about the Modi wave.

This will continue in the upcoming assembly elections. I have no doubt that Sena-BJP will form the state government. While until now Shiv Sena was the big brother in assembly elections, now BJP is in dominant position. Sena will have to adjust if BJP brings more MLAs, like it has more MPs, and Gopinath Munde will definitely want to be the Chief Minister. The BJP is totally geared up and may surpass the Sena. MNS has completely lost ground because of wrong policies. They are neither needed by the BJP-Sena nor by Congress-NCP. They will be in hanging position and the wave is likely to continue.

—Nikhil Wagle, Editor, IBN-Lokmat

***

Rajasthan (25) 
Sep 2013: 12 
April 2014:16 
Final Verdict: 25

The results for both BJP and the Congress are historical as well as unprecedented. For other parties such as the Left, the BSP, the SP, etc these election results are more or less alarming. In the Hindi belt in general and the northern India in particular, the trajectory of BJP is an expression of disillusionment with caste based identity politics. It has been dissolved by the singular identity politics of religion. 

The victory of BJP is also a revelation of the middle class mindset. In fact, it can be termed as a bourgeoisie revolution in which the corporate world, the new middle class, the apolitical men, women and youth, traders and businessmen, and majority religious forces have played an instrumental role.

The election campaign, dominated by latest technological devices and social media, which give importance to selected development agenda, proved that the new liberal path of development has succeeded in manufacturing prosperity-led dreams. The defeat of advocates of civil society movements, of Left parties and regional political parties and, finally, the Indian National Congress has proved that global and national bourgeoisie through BJP have led the younger generation and women to believe that their dreams will be actualized soon.

In this election, the BJP in the true sense has become a national political party. It has shown its presence everywhere. The credit goes to media management and organizations structure of RSS which put the charisma of Narendra Modi at centre stage. 

In Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje has accomplished her mission of 25 because of the dissolution of caste identity and media management. The people of India and of Rajasthan were highly disappointed with the corruption, price hike and law and order issues which were institutionalized in the Congress regime. 

The unprecedented defeat of Ashok Gehelot in the Vidhan Sabha election gave a signal that in the Lok Sabha election Congress will face humiliating defeat. The defeat of Jaswant Singh and Subhash Meharia proved that Vasundhara Raje constituted one of the finest election management so that her dominance is not challenged from any corner.

Narendra Modi (and not BJP), with his charisma, has successfully communicated to the people that he is capable of resolving each and every issue. Now the question remains—kya wakayee acchhe din aa gaye hain? Have the good days really returned? This is because most of the people are impatient and they will not wait for a longer period.

Rajeev Gupta, Sociologist, Rajasthan University 

***

Gujarat (26)
2004-14, 2009 - 15
Sep 2013: 17-18 
April 2014: 19 
Final Verdict: 26

For the last 20 years Gujarat was a laboratory of the RSS and the BJP and its implications was a different kind of middle class which supported the Hindutva ideology even after the 2002 riots. The Gujarati educated intelligentsia with some exception never critically observed or analysed the rule of BJP and never questioned the model of development. Due to such environment BJP continues in power without any strong opposition. 

All 26 seats won by BJP in Gujarat represents caste domination in different parts of the state. For example the tribal belt, which accounts for 15 per cent of Gujarat’s population, was predominantly influenced by Gandhian ideology in the past and after independence by the Congress Party’s progressive programmes. But this election washed away both Gandhi’s and Congress influence in the tribal belt. The second important outcome of the election is the political power of the Patidars and the Koli community of the OBCs. Not a single Muslim candidate was put up by the BJP and because of the clean sweep of the BJP now no representation from the Muslim community will be in the next Parliament. So we can say that the defeat of Congress is also the defeat of Muslim leadership of Congress. 

—Gaurang Jani, Sociologist at Gujarat University

***

Goa (2)
Sept 2013:-1 
April 2014: 1 
Final Verdict: 2 

This looks like the result of a double polarization. One was religious polarization and the other was aspirational polarization. Not just Goa, but eve nationally this sentiment seems to go hand in hand. After Jawaharlal Nehru, no other government except Manmohan Singh got a full second term. So obviously the warranty for UPA was over. If the issue was not UPA, then who? The point was whether a credible alternative would emerge that would provide a decisive mandate. As in the past whenever India votes for Lok Sabha, we see vote for a governance apart from the few years in the 1990s when the entire political discourse moved to coalition politics. This time NDA has given a decisive leadership and a strong alternative and their manifesto has succeeded in marketing hope. As far as Goa is concerned, the soft liberal image of Manohar Parrikar and the projection of Modi as an agent of change has given BJP a comfortable victory in both the seats. Even in south Goa, which is not traditionally a BJP stronghold, it managed a comfortable margin thanks to the consistent campaigning by the CM and a strong anti-incumbent factor against UPA.

—Promod Acharya, Editor, Prudent News Channel


SOUTH
In South, our experts had predicted the BJP-led NDA tally to stay around 30, out of the 129 seats. The NDA ended up with 38 (wins+ leads) because of its improved performance in Karnataka


Karnataka (28)
2004: 18, 2009: 19
Sep 2013: <18
April 2014: 6
Final Verdict: 17

—Narendra Pani, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

***

Tamil Nadu (39) 
Sep 2013: 0 
April 2014: 5-7 
Final Verdict: 2


The Modi tsunami that has swept away Congress and other parties like BSP, SP.and AAP has not reached the shores of Tamilnadu. Jaya has not only contained the Modi Tsunami but also decimated the DMK.  This is a historic victory for Jayalalitha as she has bagged the highest number of seats ever, fighting all alone. She did not forge an alliance with any party and parted company with left parties who were in her camp since last assembly elections. All the opposition parties, without exception, were blasting her at every street corner for her ‘misrule’ that failed to handle the power crisis. But her victory indicates absence of anti incumbency and silenced her critics. 

DMK has secured zero, a score which is close to its 1991 debacle, when Rajiv was assassinated. Its calculation that votes of minorities and Dalits along with its own vote share would come in handy has gone awry It is in a way an indirect vote on the credibility of M.K.Stallin’s leadership also. His leadership was contested by his own brother and former Union minister M.K. Alagiri. Mr Alagiri was predicting that DMK would be routed as the party is betting on wrong candidates. Voters have candidly expressed they are not in favour of money bags and former union ministers.

Maalan, Editor Puthiya Thalaimurai weekly

***
AP/ Telangana: 25/17. Total=42
2004: 0  2009: 0
Sept 2013 < 10 
April 2014 13 (AP) 3 (Telangana) 
Final Verdict: 19 (BJP leading in 3, TDP with 5 wins and 11 leads at the time of writing)
 

Where YSR Congress (YSRC)  failed, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) succeeded. Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s party failed to stop the Namo storm from winning power in Seemandhra (Andhra Pradesh state). But the TRS created a storm of its own with its leader K. Chandrasekhar Rao addressing 107 meetings in 10 days and prevented a BJP wave at its borders. The Congress committed a tactical blunder in not aligning with TRS, and suffered a rout in both the Telugu states. 

The TRS immensely benefitted from its stand to fight alone, claiming all credit for realizing the dream of a separate state. Though TRS was behind the Congress in local body elections held just before the general elections, it could convince the voter that it alone could develop the new state. Thus while the TRS leaders on one hand and Chandrababu on the other stormed their respective states, there was no state level leader for Congress to go beyond the constituency. Almost all its leaders struggled but failed to retain their own seats. 

Interestingly most of the Congress leaders in Seemandhra won the polls after they defected to either TDP or YSRC. Appeal by Sonia and Rahul also did not have an impact as the average voter of Telangana doubted their credentials because the so called separate Telangana was fraught with severe restrictions. Congress which ruled for 10 years could not even gain the status of opposition in Telangana while it was totally wiped out in Seemandhra. 

Like Congress, the BJP also failed to get any benefit for supporting the creation of Telangana. Mainly it is because of their alliance with TDP that was perceived to be anti-Telangana. Seemandhra also believed so and thus voted Chandrababu to power. His game of supporting BJP helped him again. Earlier in 2004 Chandrababu retained power by benefitting from Kargil effect during Vajpayee’s regime. While Modi wave helped TDP in Seemandhra, it could not improve the tally of BJP in Telangana as expected. 

Chandrababu played his cards well by bringing Chiranjeevi’s star-brother Pawan Kalyan to divert Kapu votes from YSRC. Jagan’s party, which was once so promising, has failed to convert peoples’ sympathy into vote, mainly because of lack of cadre and the impact of multiple CBI cases against Jagan. TRS also did not have cadre, but the wave helped its win while the YSRC was fighting against a Modi-wave supported by TDP. Frustrated with the loss of Hyderabad city and separation, the middleclass urban Andhra voter and unemployed youth preferred Chandrababu to Jagan, as they thought TDP would build a new capital and help development. And this despite all the parties in both the states distributing big money.

—Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar (formerly with NALSAR Hyderabad) 
is Central Information Commissioner (RTI), New Delhi

***

Kerala (20) 
2004: 0 2009: 0
Sept 2013: < 2
April 2014: 1 
May 2014: 0

In Kerala, I was expecting UDF to win anything between 11-14 seats. They have won 12 seats. UDF would have won at least two more seats but the Kerala Congress state unit had to bear the burden of the Congress’s central leadership decisions and they lost out there. Joint Parliamentary Committee chairman P.C. Chacko and his defeat in Chalakudy to actor Innocent (Independent supported by CPM) is symbolic of this burden that Oommen Chandy had to bear. In Chalakudy, till the last moment the candidate was not decided and then the Congress sitting MP K.P. Dhanapalan from there was shifted to Thrissur to make way for Chacko. 

The central leadership and the Gandhi family should take responsibility for this overwhelming defeat in India. An AICC meeting should be convened and there should be an open discussion as to the cause of the defeat and Sonia Gandhi should tender her resignation. 

The Marxist strategy of supporting independents in five constituencies to appease the minorities also did not work and if independents Innocent (Chalakudy) and Joyce George (Idukki) supported by CPM won, it was for other reasons. In Idukki, the Kasturi Rangan report and its implications played a huge part in Joyce George winning there and there is also the fact that he is supported by encroachers of the land. 

RSP's M.K.Premachandran’s victory in Kollam defeating the CPM politburo member M.A. Baby will be a huge embarrassment for the CPM. (RSP had broken off from LDF and joined the UDF just before the elections.) Though I had a hunch that Premachandran will win I did not expect him to win by such a huge margin (37649 votes).

It was unfortunate that O Rajagopal of the BJP did not win in Thiruvananthapuram. I had said he would come in second and he did. The BJP has increased its vote share substantially in this election in Kerala. 

Interestingly, NOTA has performed well in Kerala. (In constituencies like Palakkad, Wayanad, Idukki, Alappuzha, it got over 10,000 votes.)

At the centre, it is unfortunate that there is no opposition. Four people from the AAP have won and they could have provided a clear and moral guidance but then again unfortunately AAP does not have any proper direction to act upon.

—P.Rajan, formerly with Mathrubhoomi



EAST
Out of 153 seats in the 13 eastern states, NDA tally was at 40 in Sept 2013 and 50 in April 2014. The final verdict of 66 is largely because of a better than expected showing in Bihar

Bihar (40) 
Sep 2013 : 12-16 
April 2014 : 20 
Final Verdict :  31 (BJP 22, LJP 6, RLSP 3)

The blasts during Modi’s rally in Patna changed the course of elections in Bihar. The JD(U) was nowhere in the picture, both at the centre and the state. It failed to tie up with the Congress at the centre, while it broke ranks with the BJP in the state. It went alone in the elections. This did not go down well with the people of the state, who wanted a voice in Delhi. The Third Front, which Nitish Kumar was aiming to lead, was in a state of disarray. The good work done by the Nitish government in the first five years in Bihar was undone by their subsequent autocratic ways and deterioration in law and order, leading to widespread resentment. Though the BJP did not have a strong state-level leader other than Sushil Modi, who is suave and persuasive, the Narendra Modi wave convinced people to vote BJP. 

The RJD, particularly Lalu Prasad Yadav, was discredited after being convicted by a court. No one trusts him anymore because his agenda does not have development. He has always banked on social justice and communal harmony. The BJP tying up with the LJP proved a game changer, with Dalits voting for NDA. Also, BJP managed to overcome caste by selling development, national security, among other issues. Those representing caste politics were rejected by people, while Modi won on the development plank. 

The RSS, too, had a role to play. Though other parties have lost their cadre, the RSS retains its base in Bihar. The communists parties in the state were in disarray and could not do much. The Muslim votes got divided between the JD(U), which had split from the BJP on the secularism issue, and the RJD. This benefitted the BJP immensely. Muslim mobilisation has always helped the BJP. Anti-incumbency, anger at Congress misrule, scams in the central government, and spiralling inflation contributed to the BJP win in Bihar. 

—Nawal Kishore Choudhury, Economist, Patna

***

Jharkhand (14)
Sep 2013: 6 
April, 2014 : 8 
Final verdict:12

Division on religious lines resulted in a huge BJP win. Caste was replaced by religion. Anti-incumbency, Naxal terror, corruption, breakdown of law and order in the state contributed to the BJP win. The UPA government in Jharkhand was perceived to be too corrupt by the people. Their ministers flouted rules with impunity leading to people’s antipathy towards the UPA. The Congress failed to tackle the Naxal menace. The other parties were symbolic of functional anarchy in the state. Shibu Soren has aged and the foray of his family into politics did not go down well with the people. His party was perceived to be steeped in corruption, too. The Congress once had dedicated tribal leaders, but not now. The RSS has managed to win tribals over to its side through social service. People were fed up with regional parties. The Modi wave caught up with the youth.

Hari Vansh, Editor-in-Chief, Prabhat Khabar

***

Chhatisgarh (11)
Sep 2013: 7 
April,2014: 9 
Final Verdict: 10

The results of 11 Lok Sabha seat elections in Chhattisgarh have been on expected lines. The most important factor that worked in favour of the BJP is the Modi wave. This factor had not worked during the Vidhan Sabha elections but it certainly did wonders to help some weak BJP candidates win the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress was hit by wrong candidate selection, internal rift, among other factors. The BJP was also propelled by perfect tandem between the RSS, VHP and other organisations representing various shades of saffron.

Although Ajit Jogi never wanted to contest from Mahasamund, he was persuaded by the Congress to fight elections from this place, as he had won this seat in 2004 with a large margin. That year the BJP had won 10 seats in the state barring only this seat. The seat that the BJP lost in the present contest is of Durg. A senior BJP leader and sitting MP Saroj Pandey has been defeated by a slender margin by the Congress candidate Tamradwaj Sahu. It is interesting to note that Sahu had lost his seat in the recent Vidhan Sabha elections. Although Narendra Modi had campaigned in favour of Pandey, she lost because of internal sabotage. The OBC voted unitedly in favour of Sahu. 

One notable result is from Korba. The union minister of state, Charan Das Mahant has been defeated by a local BJP leader. Mahant had won this seat in 2009. This was the only seat won by the Congress in the state that time. After the voting in the present election, Mahant had said that this time he fought the most difficult election of his life. He also indicated that he had to face internal sabotage. 

Another remarkable result came from Bilaspur from where the Congress candidate Karuna Shukla lost to a weak BJP candidate. Shukla is a niece of BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She had resigned from the BJP during the Vidhan Sabha elections when she was denied a ticket by the BJP.  

—Sushil Kumar Trivedi, former state election commissioner and political analyst

***

Orissa (21)
Sep 2013: 1-4 
April 2014: 6 
Actual Verdict: 1

Proving the naysayers wrong and most of the exit polls right, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has swept the twin polls in Odisha and has romped home for the fourth successive time with a thumping majority in the state assembly. Anti-incumbency has gone for a toss and the ruling party has even weathered the Modi wave with elan. There are many possible reasons that can be attributed for the spectacular show of the BJD, which is now all set to form the government for the fourth time on the trot, but none of them more important than what is known as the TINA (there is no alternative) factor. BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik came across as the clear winner when pitted against the those who led the two principal opposition partiesJayadev Jena of the Congress and K.V. Singhdeo. 

While the whirlwind tour of BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi appears to have influenced voting patterns in the parliamentary elections to some extent, it does not seem to have had much of an impact in the Assembly electionsmaking a mockery of state unit president Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo’s outrageous claim that it would emerge as the single largest party in the state. 

—Sampad Mahapatra, former NDTV Bureau Chief in Orissa

***

West Bengal (42)
Sep 2013 : 0 
April, 2014 : 0 
Actual Verdict: 2

No one had imagined that the BJP would make inroads in Bengal. There was an undercurrent of Narendra Modi in certain areas, but the BJP victory in a few constituencies was never anticipated. Modi corrected himself in time on the Gorkhaland issue by saying that he had never promised to have a separate state, but had promised to look into the problems of the Gorkhas. The BJP vote share, which had plummeted to 3 percent in the 2011 assembly polls, has gone up manifold this time largely due to youth and women voting for them. Generally, civil society and intellectuals have dominated West Bengal politics, as have the 31% Muslim population. About 64 percent Muslims have voted Mamata this time; a complete reversal from a time when a majority of Muslim votes would go the Left front. CPM has organisational problems; the defeat in the West Bengal assembly polls made matters worse for them. Their organisational strength has gone down from 311,000 members in 2008 to 140,000 in 2014. There has been depletion in their trade union members, too.

—Amiya Kumar Choudhuri, Political Science Prof & Psephologist

***
Assam (14)
Sep 2013: 3-4 
April 2014: 5 
Final Verdict: 7

The arrogance of the state government despite their good performance in terms of delivering to the needy made the BJP surge in Assam. The killing of the one-horned rhinos was criticised by the people of the state, but the state government was indifferent to it. The dissidence in the Congress did not help matters for the party. Many MLAs were self-seeking and sabotaged Congress prospects in different constituencies. The Bangladeshi Muslim votes were divided between the AIUDF and the Congress, while the indigenous Muslims voted BJP. The BJP also relied heavily on the Bengali Hindu votes in the Barak Valley to sail through. 
The BJP had chosen its candidates carefully. For instance, in Jorhat and Dibrugarh it had tribal candidates to counter the opposition, while in Tezpur they chose someone of Nepali heritage. The Assamese Hindu votebank, which was earlier with the AGP and later the Congress, went with the BJP too. The Modi wave and issues of development and national security struck a chord with the voters. The media did its bit by playing up the Modi wave in Assam. 

—Akhil Ranjan Dutta, Associate Professor, Gauhati University

***

Arunachal Pradesh (2)
Sep 2013: 1
April 2014: 1
Actual Verdict: 1

—Nani Bath, Associate Prof, Pol Sc, RGU

***


Sikkim (1)
Sep 2013 : 0 
April 2014 : 0 
Final Verdict : 0

Pawan Chamling has created an enviable national record as the ‘Silver Jubilee’ Chief Minister. His party has already bagged 17 seats and has unassailable lead in one seat where counting is underway. The SKM has won 3 seats out of 20 seats whose results have been announced so far. SDF already has17 seats, the majority number in the 32-seater Assembly and the party is all set to govern Sikkim for a record consecutive fifth term. The SDF first came to power in 1994 and after this election, it would be running the government for 25 years.

Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim since 1994, would become the first Chief Minister in the country to hit the Silver Jubilee mark. He had campaigned on the developmental and peace plank while portraying chief rival Sikkim Krantikari Morcha as a party of destructive elements detrimental to the peace and development of Sikkim.

SDF Lok Sabha candidate P.D. Rai is also set to return to Lok Sabha for a second term. He has an overwhelming lead over SKM candidate T.N. Dhakal.

Amit Patro, Editor, Sikkim Express

***

Meghalaya (2)
Sep 2013: 0 
April, 2014 : 0 
Final verdict : 1 (NPP 1)

Meghalaya has two Lok Sabha seats. The Shillong parliamentary constituency has gone to Vincent Pala of the Congress while the Tura seat has gone to former Lok Sabha Speaker, Purno A Sangma of the National Peoples’ Party (NPP). Sangma had already pledged his allegiance to the BJP and had recently met Narendra Modi in Delhi. 

In 1998, the BJP made its debut when a former banker Mr T.H. Rangad and an activist, A.L. Hek became the only two BJP candidates who won the state assembly elections. A non-Congress government was formed and Rangad became the home minister at a time when militancy was raging in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya. Rangad had a clean image and also a lot of courage. When the militants called for a general shutdown on Republic Day and Independence Day, Rangad would mobilise his constituents to attend the official parade at Polo Ground. He and his followers including his children would walk the nearly two kilometre distance to the parade ground. After office hours he would drive his own car and had no personal security men to hang around with him. 

At one time a scandal broke out in the general administration department. Rangad ordered an enquiry by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and even ordered the police to arrest certain bureaucrats involved in the scandal. Rangad contested the 2003 Assembly elections and won but died soon thereafter of lung cancer. His wife, Jopsimon Phanbuh contested and won in his place. 

A.L. Hek the other BJP candidate failed to mobilise the BJP and soon joined the Congress and is now a cabinet minister in the Congress-led government. 

This time the BJP had set up a non-entity, Shibun Lyngdoh as its candidate. He managed to secure a sizeable number of votes in pockets of Jaintia Hills where people still practice the indigenous faith. He also scored well in some of the non-tribal dominated areas of Meghalaya’s capital city, Shillong. On the overall scoreboard however, Lyngdoh managed to get the fourth position. 

Considering that the BJP would have little need of allies, P.A. Sangma might not be able to wrangle a ministerial berth for himself, although that was the motive of his meeting Modi. And there are enough BJP MPs from Assam who would want to be included in the Modi cabinet on the plea of representing the aspirations of the people of the Northeastern states. But for all we know, Sangma might once again become the Lok Sabha Speaker. It would be interesting to watch Sangma play his cards henceforth. 

—Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times

Nagaland (1)
Sep 2013 : 
April, 2014 : 
Final verdict: 1 (NPF 1)

The Congress failed to win because of anti-incumbency and not being in power in the state for many years. The Congress organisation has been in a state of disarray for a long time. The Congress candidate also does not match up with those contesting against him. Tribal groupings in Nagaland make state politics complex. However, there is no Modi-wave in the state, despite such a wave in most parts of the country. The BJP does not have a strong following, except for certain areas in Dimapur. 

—Geoffrey Yaden, Editor, Nagaland Post

***

Manipur (2)
Sep 2013: 0 
April, 2014 : 0 
Final Verdict : 0

The NPF is a major force in Manipur. There is no anti-incumbency in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary seat. While the Outer Manipur parliamentary seat does have a bit of anti-incumbency. Though the BJP does not have a strong base in the state, some of its leaders are quite popular. The Congress being in power in the state is working in its favor, as the party has a strong organization in the state. Development is an issue this election along with the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). There was a Modi wave in the early stages of campaigning, but it was not as much as in other parts of India.

—Bimola Devi

***
Tripura(2) 
Sep 2013 : 0 
April 2014: 0 
Final Verdict : 0

While the entire country is celebrating the landslide victory of BJP, Tripura is the only state where the CPI (M) led Left Front has been able to retain both the Lok Sabha Seats. Traditionally, the ruling party in Tripura wins in both the Lok Sabha seats. The Congress and CPI (M) have been the main national political parties which have dominated Lok Sabha elections in the state. Since 1993, the CPI (M) has been able to dominate in the state politics and its strength seems to grow despite a Modi wave all over the country. 

Again, in the 16th Lok Sabha elections 2014, the CPI (M) won both the Parliamentary seats in Tripura because of factors such as the following:

  1. the leadership of CPI (M) is more organised, united, disciplined and systematic in its planning and activities, whereas internal squabbles are a major problem for the Congress. 

  2. Grass-root units of the CPI (M) and its allies are very strong, well-organized and hardworking which are absent in other parties. 

  3. Various wings of the party including women youth, students, businessmen, workers/labour and govt. employees’ wings are seen to be very active. 

  4. Unlike the other parties, the momentum of organizational activities of CPI (M) is kept active all throughout the year whether elections or no elections. 

  5. Internal dispute if any among the leaders and followers of the party is resolved immediately within the organization. 

  6. Unlike other parties, election campaigns of CPI (M) are systematically planned and carried out collectively. 

  7. Party funds are in a sound state as fund raising is carried out systematically and collectively not only during elections time but on regular basis all throughout the year. 

  8. Membership drive with the promises of job is a unique character of the party which attracts youth to its fold

  9. The CPI (M) has been able to maintain a stronghold in many rural tribal belts in the midst of polarization of tribal politics in the state. 

Dr Debbarma, Associate Professor, NEHU

***

Mizoram (1)
Sep 2013 : 0 
April, 2014 : 0 
Final Verdict :

The single seat of Lok Sabha in the state of Mizoram goes in favour of the state ruling Congress party candidate Mr C.L Ruala, who got 209573 votes out of the total votes that were cast: 434076. He defeated his main contender, all opposition common candidate Mr Robert Romawia Royte by 11361 votes. Mr Robert Romawia Royte got 198212 votes. Aam Admi Party candidate Mr Michael Lalmanzuala got 11515 votes, and 6410 votes went to NOTA. Mr CL Ruala, a sitting member, is re-elceted for the second time from the same constituency. 

K.Sapdanga, Editor Vanglaini

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