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 30 January (20 days ago), I had predicted 212-216 seats for NDA, 169-173 seats for UPA and 156-160 seats for all others.
I also wrote in that post that the key questions remain – who will form the government in May 2019, and who will become the next Prime Minister of India?
Trying to make some sense from the numbers, I said that 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.
I said on January 30 that 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.
Further, I wrote that, 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.
I concluded that – in my opinion, a non-NDA government was more likely. The argument was simple:
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.
20 days later, what has changed? The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra has been stitched. In Tamil Nadu, BJP has stitched an interesting alliance with AIADMK and PMK.
On the other hand, with just 8 weeks to go for the first phase of polling to start, the much awaited “MAHAGATHBANDHAN” has not really been formed, except the BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. This obviously shows that things are not so well for an all-party front to take on Narendra Modi.
Every Indian today is awaiting our (supposedly) strong PM to take stern action – bigger than the Surgical Strike/s of 2016 – against Pakistan and Jaish-e-Mohammed for the shameful attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama.
If this attack had not happened, I would expect (after the Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu alliances) the NDA to increase their tally to 225-229 seats, UPA to drop to 166-170 seats, and others at 146-150 seats, and no change in who would form the government and who will be the next PM.
However, Pulwama changes everything. If the NDA government does not act strongly, they might even fall to below 200 seats. If they do, they can cross 255-260 seats, and easily form the government. Let’s see what developments take place over the next few days.