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Decoding the election trends, the psephologist's way

By Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
March 25, 2009 16:45 IST
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With the general elections round the corner, every street discussion, nowadays, begins with the statements like, "Who do you think will win the elections?" caught up with Sandeep Shashtri, a leading psephologist based in Bengaluru and found out what he thought would be the outcome of the general elections 2009.

"At present I see two scenarios in the forthcoming elections. The most likely scenario is that there would be a status quo at the Centre with the United Progressive Alliance retaining power. I am saying this because I don't think that the National Democratic Alliance could do better when compared to the 2004 elections. The NDA will remain where it is and there are only possibilities of it doing better in states such as Karnataka and Gujarat," Sandeep said.

"However this would not make a large difference to the party to boost its final tally. In the rest of the states, the Bharatiya Janata Party has peaked and there is no possibility of it doing better than that. If the NDA remains where it is then the UPA clearly will return to power in a similar manner in which it did during the 2004 elections," he added.

"In case the UPA fails to make it the trend is clearly in favour of the Third Front. There seems to be a trend in favour of the Third Front in several states. I see a scenario where the Third Front comes together and forces the Congress to support it in order to form the government," Shashtri felt.

"However I do not see the Communist Party of India-Marxist playing a major part in the Third Front. Its position is clearly weakened in states such as West Bengal and Kerala. I feel that the Third Front minus the CPM would come forward and pressurise the Congress to support it to form the government," the psephologist said.

"For the Third Front parties like the Telegu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtriya Samithi and the Biju Janata Dal would do well. These parties would make a difference in the vote share. The battle at Uttar Pradesh will be keenly contested between Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav who are expected to put up a good showing," he added.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru