As per my book “1914 NaMo or MoNa” written in February 2018 (almost one year ago) and published in April 2018, I had predicted 219 seats for NDA led by BJP, 124 seats for UPA led by Congress, and 200 seats for all others.
In my blog post of 15 January (15 days ago), I had predicted 214 seats for NDA, 153 seats for UPA, and 176 seats for all others.
Now, 15 days later, not much has changed. I still predict 212-216 seats for NDA, 169-173 seats for UPA (up by 45-49 seats since 1914 NaMo or MoNa was written), and 156-160 seats for all others (down by 40-44 since the book was written). The differences are mainly due to DMK tying up with the Congress and becoming part of UPA, whereas this party was considered amongst “others” earlier.
So the key questions remain – who will form the government in May 2019, and who will become the next Prime Minister of India?
Let us make some sense from the numbers. NDA will need support from parties who together have 56-60 seats, in order to form the government.
Many psephologists, pollsters and TV channels have been suggesting that BJD will support Narendra Modi as PM. In my view, this is unlikely to happen, as BJP will win more seats than BJD in Odisha, and therefore become a bigger opponent to Naveen Patnaik than the Congress party.
The parties more likely to support NDA will be AIADMK (7-9 seats), YSRCP (18-20 seats) and TRS (15-17 seats). This adds up to 40-46 seats. So the NDA will need just 14-16 more seats, which it should be able to manage with smaller parties and independents.
What about UPA? If UPA gets 169-173 seats, it will need 99-103 more seats to form the government. If BSP (22-24 seats) and SP (21-23 seats) support a UPA-3 government, it will still be short of about 56 seats. YSRCP and TRS are unlikely to support a Congress-led UPA, as Congress is still a larger player in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana than the BJP. Therefore, UPA-3 will definitely need the support of Mamata Banerjee’s AITC/TMC (29-31 seats), if Congress dreams of coming back to power.
In my opinion, a non-NDA government is more likely.
If UPA-3 forms the government, will Mamata Banerjee (2-time CM of West Bengal) and Mayawati (4-time CM of India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh) accept or allow the inexperienced Rahul Gandhi to become the PM? MOST LIKELY NOT. Either of these ladies would be more likely to become PM of a UPA-Third Front Alliance. There is also an outside chance of MK Stalin (whose DMK is likely to have more seats than either BSP or SP) to be the consensus candidate.
The PM race is now open for only the 6 candidates whose pictures are featured here. Others such as Telangana CM KCR and Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu are ruled out, as the former will have only 15-16 seats and the latter just 6-7 seats.
THEREFORE, UNLESS THE BJP COMES UP WITH ONE OR MORE BIG GAME CHANGERS IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS, I CONTINUE TO HAVE THE SAME OPINION THAT I EXPRESSED IN MY BOOK “1914 NAMO OR MONA” – THAT MAMATA BANERJEE WILL BE THE NEXT PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA.