Lok Sabha Election results will be out of 16 May. Lets discuss the possibility of NDA gaining the magic Figure of 272
The NDA performance in 2009 election was BJP (116 Lok Sabha seats), Shiv Sena (11) and Shiromani Akali Dal (4). To achieve the magic figure of It must more than double its present seat-tally to reach the half-way mark. This means raising its percentage-share of the national vote from 21.2 to over 30.
This is a far bigger task than the highest jump in seats and votes ever achieved by the BJP, when it rose from 161 seats and 20.3 percent (1996) to 182 seats and 25.6 percent (1998) and collected enough allies to form an opportunist coalition.
For the NDA to come to power in 2014, the BJP must win about 200 (if not 210-220) Lok Sabha seats to create a nucleus around which smaller parties can coalesce and form a winning alliance. NDA is now again of 25 parties which has done pre -poll alliance.
Winning 200-220 seats, up from 116, is a tall order. So where can the seats come from?
BJP’s success will hinge primarily on making huge gains in three major states—Uttar Pradesh (80 seats), Bihar (40) and Maharashtra (48).
In addition, the BJP must further improve on its 2009 performance in its “base” or “home” states, which it has ruled in alternation with the Congress: Madhya Pradesh (29), Gujarat (26), Rajasthan (25) and Chhattisgarh (11). Only then can the BJP boost the NDA sufficiently to attract willing allies who agree with its policies.
Consider India’s political arithmetic from the BJP standpoint. India’s 35 states and Union Territories (UTs) fall into four categories. First are big states like Seemandhra (17) and Telegana (15), West Bengal (42) and Tamil Nadu (39), somewhat smaller Kerala (20), and tiny Northeastern states barring to an extent Assam, where the BJP has no effective presence.
In this big chunk of 168 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP’s score has always been in the low single-digits in past election. In current scenario TDP can win 15 seats, Tamil can win 5 seats as they have alliance with 5 parties West Bengal can win another 5 seats, So overall 25 seats.
Second come states like Karnataka (28), Orissa (21), Punjab (13) and Jharkhand (14), where the BJP has a limited or unsteady presence via alliances, and the smaller states and UTs each with less than 10 seats, which account for 40 seats, making a total of 116 LS seats.
These are unlikely to add substantially to the BJP’s tally. It has to share Punjab with the Akali Dal, and Jharkhand with regional groups. It’s marginal in Orissa after it broke with the BJD. And given AAP’s ascendancy in Delhi, the BJP cannot score handsomely in the UTs either.
What of Karnataka? After BS Yeddiyurappa’s disastrously corrupt performance as CM, his break with the BJP, and the Congress’s recent Assembly victory, it’s unlikely that the BJP will win anywhere near the 19 seats it bagged in 2009 even if the BSY faction merges or reaches an electoral understanding with the BJP. “Modi Magic” won’t work here.
So in the states and UTs listed above, which send 284 MPs—or more than half the Lok Sabha’s total—the BJP’s tally will on balance of probability be about the same as earlier or a little improvement taking in consideration the Modi Wave we can get 50 seats.
Then comes the third category of “HOME” states comprising Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The BJP won 45 of their 91 Lok Sabha seats in 2009, and did well in the Assembly elections held since.
The BJP can legitimately hope to do better vis-à-vis a now-weakened Congress in Rajasthan (where it won only 4 of Lok Sabha 25 seats), Gujarat (15/26) and MP (16/29), but not in Chhattisgarh, where it took 10 of 11 seats in 2009, but didn’t do too well in the last Assembly elections.
However, even if the BJP repeats its best-ever performance in MP (25), Rajasthan (21), Gujarat (20) and Chhattisgarh (10), that would still fetch it 76 of 91 seats. More realistically, it could win 60 seats. This would bring it about 135 seats, with a maximum of 150, from the first three categories.
The BJP would still need to reap 100 seats from the fourth category (UP, Bihar and Maharashtra) which send 168 Lok Sabha MPs. In 2009, it won just 31 seats from these. These states are politically complex, marked by strong local-level organizations and candidates, and well-cultivated vote-banks. They have multi-cornered contests, whose outcomes are hard to predict.
In 2004, these states returned 115 non-Congres-non-BJP MPs, and in 2009 a good 97. In a super-optimistic scenario, the BJP might win 24/40 seats in Bihar with a strike-rate of 60 percent—way above its best-ever score of 23/54 in undivided Bihar, a 43 percent strike-rate.
In Maharashtra, the BJP could end its alliance with the Shiv Sena and risk going it alone. Even if it creates a “wave”, which seems extremely unlikely, it can maximally repeat its best-ever performance (18/48 in 1996). That entails an improbable doubling of its present tally.
Even then, the BJP would need to win 55-60 seats from UP. It crossed the 50-seat mark in undivided UP’s 85 seats only twice, in 1998 and 1999, in the wake of the Ramjanmabhoomi mobilisation, and when it came to national power, but shrank to 10 seats in both 2004 and 2009.
To exceed the old performance won’t be easy for the BJP in the face of the strong caste and other social-group coalitions forged by the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party. True, the BJP stands to gain from the communal polarisation recently created by the Muzaffarnagar violence, its renewed emphasis on the Ram temple, and the shrinking of the Congress’s and SP’s bases.
So to reach the magic figure of 272 MODI wave should work its magin in these 3 states (UP, Bihar and Maharashtra). Out of 168 seats NDA needs to get at least 85-100 seats to make a stable government.
MODIJI and Most of India dream of seeing him as PM will be decided by the people of UP, Bihar and Maharashtra. Readers can add there thought on the above Political Analysis.