Be it 150 or not, end verdict is BJP is going to make government in Gujarat in 2017! The successive victory in this vibrant state is special as it is coming in the backdrop of patidar agitation, much discussed anger due to disruption created by GST/ demonetisation. And obviously anti incumbency of 22 years.
Congress might have used all the tricks and was seen getting traction as well. But these efforts of Congress is just like BJP putting efforts in Muslim dominated Kashmir. The difference between Narendra Modi’s BJP and Rahul Gandhi’s Congress is so huge, that all efforts of Rahul Gandhi along with casteist leaders are only going to make BJP’s victory margin less. Hardly any rosy possibility for grand old Indian party.
Interestingly, BJP is not losing major votes due to economic reforms or anti incumbency but due to void created by Modi. Modi shoes are so big that, it is impossible for any Rupani or Anandi Ben Patel to fill in the shoes. Not that angry BJP vote is getting transferred to Congress, but hardcore BJP voters are seen sitting idle and hence major drop in BJP’s already humongous pool of vote share.
In 2014, BJP managed to win almost 60% votes, Congress was pushed to 33%. This 26-27% gap cannot be filled in a big state like Gujarat in three years. In 2014 LS, BJP won 165 assembly segments, Congress managed 17. That is BJP’s best performance ever, which can be taken as reference point for best case for BJP. It also explains somehow Amit Shah’s optimism of 150, which is not unreasonable. Hence in best case scenario, we give 151-155 to BJP ignoring void created by Modi & desruiptive economic reforms.
2004, and 2009 Loksabha election were two elections when Congress performed better, and BJP was on decline. In fact in 2004 Congress managed more assembly segments than BJP. The score was 91-89 in Congress favour. That was the only moment in last 25 years when Gujaratis made Congress ‘feel good’! Even then Congress managed the margin by just a 01 seat, tells a lot about how Gujaratis vote. Congress vote share was around 43-44% in those two elections, while BJP got 46-47%. So taking Congress best performance in record, they still may not be able to go anywhere around 91. In worst case scenario for BJP, they may still win by very thin margin of 2-3% votes and 95 seats in kitty leaving Congress behind at 82 seats.
Given the both extreme scenario, we have calculated average vote share of last 22 years. BJP is way ahead with 10% lead. BJP had 48.5, Congress had average vote share of 38.10%
Now, going by the trend, voting pattern and choices, our analysis says BJP will better there tally of 2012 in most likely scenario and will end up getting more than 50% votes, easily sail above 125-130 seats. While Congress will gain too in bits and pieces with the help of caste politics, but too little, too late, not enough to beat mammoth vote share of BJP.
Verdict : There will be Diwali in share market on Monday morning. Cheers.
Writer : @jaanbaaj