The first Assembly elections of 2017 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move are finally over. As we are just hours away from the exit polls projecting which party will win in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Manipur, some political and economic commentators, experts and journalists have already made their predictions.
Here is what the experts have to say about the 2017 Assembly election:
Many experts have said that it is the saffron party Bharatiya Janata Party which has a significant advantage.
Firstpost's Sanjay Singh wrote in an article that despite the SP-Congress alliance, "UP ko kuch aur hi pasand hai (UP likes something else)."
"An excessive reliance of the SP-Congress coalition to woo Muslims has given rise to latent Hindutva sentiments across the state. The strategists perhaps erred in calculating the Muslims vote but they are not the only ones who vote. Mayawati too has erred on the same count. Scratch a bit and Hindutva sentiments of non-Yadav and non-Jatav community would come out to the fore. The situation may not be that of 2014 but this factor is certainly there on the ground and that could significantly tilt the balance for BJP," he said in the article.
Similarly, Pranav Gupta and Rahul Verma of Lokniti-CSDS hinted in The Indian Express that BJP may win in UP because the party learnt from its mistakes in Bihar and the SP-Congress' "level of popularity may not have lead to conversion of votes in favour of SP-Congress alliance, at least not at the scale achieved by the Mahagathbandhan."
Eminent journalist Swaminathan Aiyar also said in The Times of India that the Modi wave was back. "If a wind is blowing from Maharashra and Gujarat through Punjab and Haryana into Odisha, can UP be immune? No, politics in UP today is not local. There is little support for any local BJP leader. The chant you hear everywhere is 'Modi, Modi, Modi,'" he wrote.
Surjit S Bhalla also wrote in The Indian Express that UP 2017 was not Bihar 2015 because "a major third party — the BSP — has been left out of MG (Mahagathbandhan), so the opposition is left with just a G: SP plus Congress." For live updates, follow here.
Firstpost's Sandipan Sharma wrote in this article that even Congress and AAP will perform better than the BJP-SAD alliance, the state may be headed for a hung Assembly.
"People in its three regions — Malwa, Majha and Doaba — can't agree on who is best placed to defeat the BJP-SAD government. In Malwa, which has 69 seats out of the 117 in the state, the consensus is in favour of the AAP. In the other two regions that contribute the remaining 48 seats, the Congress is the first choice," he said.
Prannoy Roy also said in an NDTV article that AAP had maximum chances of winning in Punjab. "AAP takes a lot of the Akali foundation away. AAP is weaker in Hindu areas, strong in Sikh areas. It did very well in East Malwa region," he said.
David Devadas wrote in this Firstpost article that AAP has an advantage in Goa because of a mild undercurrent of support for the party. "Most people see both the established parties, the ruling BJP and the Congress, as jaded. The Congress is still seen as a bastion of corruption. The BJP is viewed as a disappointment — although the anti-incumbency sentiment is not nearly as strong as it was against the Congress government five years ago," he said in the article.
Another article in Hindustan Times by Chetan Chauhan said that Goa may be headed for a change in guard because of a high voter turnout and the high number of women voters in the state. For more live updates, follow here.
On the day of the first phase of Manipur elections, Kangkan Acharyya of Firstpost said that Congress and BJP were equal contenders in the state. "At least five leaders of the ruling Congress Party joined BJP in recent times including stalwarts like N Biren Singh and Eerabot. On the other hand BJP lost a number of its leaders to Congress including one of its two MLAs Khumukcham Joykishan. With no other party being able to throw much contest, both the national party are racing with equal speed in the Meitei dominated valleys," he said in the article. For more updates follow here.
Firstpost's Uttarakhand correspondent Namita Singh said that Chief Minister Harish Rawat had himself hinted at a Congress defeat. "Harish Rawat has dropped the hints about possibilities of defeat of Congress party as he instructed the party workers and leaders to be prepared for opposition, during his conversation in party office," she said.
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Updated Date: Mar 09, 2017 18:13:31 IST