Monday, February 24, 2014

India 2014

Right now the polls say that BJP/NDA will get 200+ seats. As I have noted this (if it actually happens) will be a game-changer because enough opportunists can be purchased to reach 272. However I consider this to be unlikely, mainly because of the impact of rural-based caste coalitions as well as that of the urban-based Aam Aadmi Party (incidentally why not Aam Aurat Party?). The Congress is optimistic about a Delhi like scenario where the BJP was stopped from getting an absolute majority. Indeed the same polls predict that AAP will win an overwhelming majority if elections are held afresh in Delhi.

Again the way I read the polls, Congress will do very poorly in North and West (Bihar and UP will be critical for the BJP), however it may get a few seats in the North-East. The bulk of the Congress seats will come from the south- Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana. This will make the transition of Congress from a pan-India party to a South Indian party complete.

That said it is instructive (and amusing) to see Big Brother monitoring the 2014 elections (in their usual soft-footed, light-touch manner). The piece below says a lot (even when it says little), for what it is worth polls were quite accurate in the most recent round of state elections. In my opinion, BB is unsure about the rise of the BJP, on the one hand they cant be happy about an assertive Hindu majority (kind of like the Muslim Brotherhood part II), on the other hand they are probably interested in new business opportunities. Again my feeling on this is if NaMo does come to the throne, he will push for China over America and this will be a nightmare all the way around (but may be good for regional stability). I conclude that a lot many people are deeply interested in what happens in India following the 2014 polls.

The sudden thaw in the relationship comes as India heads into the 2014 Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) elections to be held this April and May. Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named him as its candidate for prime minster should the BJP gain an electoral victory. By meeting with Modi, American officials are signaling that they view a BJP victory in the coming elections as a real possibility, and are hoping that they can improve the damaged relationship with Modi as much as possible prior to the election.
Unsurprisingly, U.S. officials and India watchers around the world are closely monitoring the torrent of election polls and public opinion surveys streaming out of the Indian media to see where the BJP stacks up against its rivals as the elections draw near.