Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Exit Polls

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

As of this evening on 12th of May 2014, the Indian general election were still in full swing and going into the final phase of polls, with results just about four days away. It is almost certain that the largest democracy will have a new leadership at the center, and also in several state and local governments. More than 60% of the Indian voters exercised their voting rights, which is a record for India.

Indian exit polls at this time and during the elections have gone through some changes, but by and large have reflected similar outcome that the government in Delhi will be a new one with a new prime minister. As much discounting you can do with the Indian polls as possible, they have been projecting the Modi wave all along, and specially in the BJP states, and Modi himself has shown how to campaign and how to present himself as a national leader, and how to respond to whatever is thrown at him. While Modi conducted himself with great finesse of a seasoned politician on the national stage, the other national leaders simply keep abusing him and whatever little personal life Narendra Modi has, which itself is very little to complain about.

The elections have been by and large free of violence, except the incumbent party throwing a lot of baggage at Modi, and claiming that they need a few more years to implement development programs. While the programs are very much needed in every part of the country with every aspect of life of the common man, INC never really believed that it needed to do anything constructive across the country to help the needy, and purely relies of the name Gandhi. It is probable that the time has run out on the name recognition except for the real Gandhi, the Mahatma.

The exit polls during and after elections should have noticed the Americans demeanor to the announcement of Modi as the prime minister candidate earlier in the year. USA is run pretty much my pollsters and polls. When you saw the US ambassador to India (Nancy Powell) visit with Modi at his home right after he was declared the PM candidate of BJP lead alliance, it should have been a great indicator of things to come in the just concluded elections. Americans are quite good at conducting formal and informal polls, and they are also quite good at political predictions. When Nancy Powell met Modi, who in fact has been on the crap list of the USA for more than a dozen years, that too days after his being declared as the PM candidate, Indians watching should have guessed that his chances of becoming the PM are bright. Right after that Nancy Powell announced her resignation from her long term diplomatic role, and this should have been another indicator that the Americans were fairly certain that Modi will become the PM of the largest democracy on earth, and there will be no way other than reach out to him. With removing the old team of diplomats, and having them reach out the prospective PM just before they declare their resignation from diplomacy, it should have been a good indicator for things to come with the elections about to come in India. My though process is not far fetched looking at historical behavior of the Americans. They always poll and poll and also rely on polls for making decisions to manage public and international policy.

By no means my thought process is scientific, and it is to make only observations after the elections, and also continuously looking at the Indian polls. The Indian polls are 100% with issues as politicians and pollsters both make wide accusations and wildest guesses, which are far from reality. India is also a country where money flows when elections come, but most of the public is smart enough to accept whatever money or gifts they are given (some times negotiated based on votes) but vote what they feel like in the booths. So, listening to exit polling results is really a crap shoot.

But the actions of the Americans should have been a great indicator for things to come in the elections, and the bet's should have been placed on Modi, rather than throwing money at people and wasting billions on trying to make people listen to never ending promises which get repeated every five years. The guess is that the polls will be right this time with Modi's Sarkar in Delhi for next five years, and if he keeps up with what he did in Gujarat, perhaps more five year terms. Here is wishing all Indians a very best of government and governance. Jai Hind.

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