Sunday, April 18, 2004
Predictions for the coming Indian elections
Here are my predictions:
1. NDA will win - but will lose some seats. It currently has more than 300 seats, but would miss that threshold.
2. Contrary to predictions, TN will not be a walk over for Congress and its ally, DMK. I expect BJP and its ally, Jayalalithaa's AIADMK to pick up at least 15 seats.
3. In UP, we could expect the BJP to win at least 25-30 seats. But the big question is whether they can win more than 40 seats. If they can, and Congress fails to muster more than 10 seats, it could have very grave implications for Congress. If Mulayam get the impression that he has lost a lot of Muslim votes to Congress, he could go over to NDA. But I see very slim chances of this happening, especially given that Congress-BSP alliance did not materialize.
4. Karnataka would be the most important results in these polls. With Hegde out of the picture, BJP on the upswing, if BJP-JD(U) alliance manages to win the southern state, we can expect a much stronger BJP in the coming days. If however, it turns out to be a hung assembly (I would bet on this scenario emerging, contrary to the opinion polls), it would be more Janata Dal gymnastics.
5. BJD-BJP and TDP-BJP alliances would win again in Orissa and AP respectively.
6. Maharashtra could see an even split between the alliances - which would be a big setback for Congress and Sharad Pawar.
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