If elections were held today, the Congress-NCP combine will win in Maharashtra and Narendra Modi will sweep Gujarat. Senior journalist and political analyst Kumar Ketkar joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the CNN-IBN election tracker survey in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Q. Sir, Do you think Sharad Pawar has a chance to become PM if his party gets 15 seats in Mah and neither Congress or BJP are in a position to form a government at the centre? Asked by: Akshay S
A. Yes. He surely has a chance, perhaps a last chance of his life. The reason is neither Congress nor BJP seem to be heading for more than 150 seats. The so called Third Front and Federal Front will have about 150 seats and then there will be "free for all" independents. Sharad Pawar has the best network across all parties and leaders. He also has the necessary resources. He has said that there is no fundamental difference between NDA and UPA. This means that he is open for all alliances and fronts. There is no one elase who is as resourceful and networked. So he can.
Q. I am bit surprised by the poll outcome in Maharashtra, as they are predicting a status quo. Why BJP-SS coalition is not able to put a formidable challenge to Cong-NCP combine despite a serious anti-incumbancy both in Center and the State? Secondly do you think is there any possibility of Raj and Udhav coming together, rising above there egos to prevent division of votes in order to thwart Cong-NCP Govt? Asked by: Himanshu
A. There is no chance of Uddhav and Raj closing their personal and organizational dispute for political reasons. However, they can have electoral understanding for Lok Sabha elections, without having direct alliance. MNS has no ambition at the centre and hence he can have electoral understanding for LOk Sabha. SS was in the union ministry with the NDA. But then Raj will bargain for seat adjustment or power sharing for the assembly. Narendra Modi is of course keen that the BJP, SS and MNS come together along with the RPI. He will try to prevail upon Raj and that can work as Raj has consistently supported Modi and the BJP has now annointed NaMo as the chief. The reason the anti-incumbency will not make major difference is because the BJP-SS alliance have not shown any alternative programme or even skill in opposition. They too have trust deficit. So even if the people are not happy with the Cong-NCP govt, they do not feel confident about the opposition for the central government. So it is negative advantage to congress.
Q. In Maharashtra do you feel once the real election campaigning starts would there be a positive effect to the BJP's numbers mostly due to the Modi factor. Asked by: Rakesh
A. The Modi factor will be influential in metropolitan and urban regions. But it will not have much impact in the rural Maharashtra where the network of sugar cooperatives, banks, colleges, credit institutions, schools and such institutions is organised and controlled by the congress and NCP. The BJP and SS, despite coming to power and despite being in existence for nearly 45 years, have not created any institutional network. So voters will prefer the devil they know rather than the devil they don't know.
Q. Ketkar Saheb, whats the chance of seat arrangement b/w Raj and BJP-SS for LS polls. Don't they visualize the damage fighting separately will do to them? Asked by: S Chaturvedi
A. They do see the disadvantage of not coming together. But their egos are too strong. Yet they will have electoral understanding, brought about Modi, for Lok Sabha. He is desperate of bringing them together. But even in Maharashtra BJP and also the RSS, there are reservations, serious ones about his leadership style.
Q. In Maharashtra do you feel once the real election campaining starts would there be a positive effect to the BJP's numbers mostly due to the Modi factor. Asked by: Rakesh
A. I have already answered this. Modi factor is important. But there is no Modi wave. Modi influence is there, but it has not spread in rural Maharashtra. Maratha community and Marathi peasantry is well organised and cannot be easily pendetrated by "alien" Modi.
Q. I strongly believe that another term of UPA at the center would be the last nail on India's hopes for growth. Please forget the communal divide between both the ideologies. I think, more people died in India due to hunger since Independence than due to communal riots. And the party which is largely responsible to these deaths is congress. While I am no great fan of the NDA, what according to you is a credible alternate to UPA? Asked by: Karthik
A. There is no chance of clear majority to the UPA. The Congress will have to support from outside or join as a non-major partner. The NDA too cannot make it beyond 200+. So it will be a situation like in 1996, when finally Deve Gowda became PM after 13-day experiment by Vajpayee. NDA has not been able to create a credible alternative. BJP has no base in entire South, East and it does not have strong presence in North. It has only base in Western India. that is the reason, it could not come back to power in 2004.
Q. Do you think that Modi himself will take back as prime ministerial candidate after these currently occuring political drama's? Asked by: Rishabh Munde
A. Narendra Motive is an ambitious man. He is driven by a sort of "kjiller instinct" (I am not referring to 2002)> and he is deploying the modern management technique. He has self confidence (but sometimes it actually reflects a kind of personality complex too). He thinks of himself as a sort of messiah. So only if the BJP gets on its own less than 280, that he will give up. But then he will try yet another round in 2016 or 2019, whenever the next elections come. He is not a man who will give up.
Q. Do you see any possibility of Shivsena-MNS joining hands before 2014 elections? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker
A. They can arrive at electoral understanding on candidates, constitituencies and propaganda network, but not direct alliance
Q. Why only Modi is being targeted for encounters in Gujarat whereas media is not that critical of the encounters taking place in other states? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker
A. That is because, if your remember the speeches of Modi, Togadia, Singha and others, virtually defended what happened as a sort of "reactions" and "deserving punishment". The state chief minister has to respect the people, even if he has different views, perceptions and prjeducies. Modi was seen as a person without that humility, warmth and humanity. That is the perception all over, except among his strong supporters.
Q. Sir, do you expect any surprises in Maharashtra at a last minute in election? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker
A. The Lok Sabha election results will mostly be on the lines in the CNN IBN survey. But in assembly elections, there will be a "surprise", meaning cong-NCP alliance will suffer setback with advantage to SS-BJP.
Q. What's your reason to be Ant-Modi? Might your reasons of being will change my mind. Asked by: Lakshmi
A. Modi has not shown grand vision of India like Gandhiji, Ambedkar, Nehru. He highlights Vallabhbhai Patel but forgets that Patel himself advocated that Nehru should be prime minister. Moreover, Patel too had a vision and he was a strong Congressman and Gandhian. Modi wantsto make "congressmukta" Hindustan and erect a great statue of a proud Gandhian-satyagrahi-Congressman who supported Nehru throughout.
Q. When it is the Congress that has spent thousands of Crores in UP, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat why the English Media Comrades cry foul that Narendra Modi 's rise is media hype? Do you think that people who are writing in Social Media are paid.people by Narendra Modi? Asked by: Raghava Rao Karavadi
A. I do not know whetherthe social media supporting Modi is a paid job. But I know by direct experience that the social media is not tolerant of critiscism, and I have never seen in the past 50 years, so much heat, hatred and violence against those who disagree with Modi. The section of social media wanted Indian govt to withdraw Bharat Ratna given to Modi. They even forgot that He was given Bharat Ratna by Vajpayee government. They also forgot Sen praised infrastructure development in Gujarat. Social media supporting Modi will have to show some tolerance, if they want their views to be made acceptable.
Q. I heard people calling Modi victory as dark side of Demo. Why ceratin people have decided that they need to certify people for everything? Is peoples mandate not enough? Asked by: Sandeep
A. It will be a contest between weak and disabled. Between inefficient and incompetent. Between indifferent and irrelevant.
Q. I am not convinced at all with this poll regarding Maharashtra. What i Believe that Sharad Pawar is very weak and organizationally Cong, BJP and SS also not doing well. So it will be the contest between Bad and Worst. Your views? Asked by: Padmanand Jha
A. Pawar is not as weak as some feel nor he is as strong as his followers feel. The government in the state is not efficient but the opposition is not competent. The government has not performed and the opposition has not been able to target it effectively.
Q. Ketkarji, please tell me whether Modi is clean or not? Asked by: G. Ramadas
A. He may be clean. But so is Dr. Manmohan Singh and CM of MP, Chouhan.
Q. Mr. Ketkarji, I watch all the programmes in which you also participate and debate. Whenever Narendra Modi issue comes you jump against Modi. What is your opinion about Modi sweeping India? Asked by: G. Ramadas
A. Neither Modi nor BJP has support or base across India. In South, in East, in North East, he is irrelevant.
Q. Will passing of the land bill get the support of the Industry to Congress and have an influence on the LS GE..in Maharashtra? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. I don't think, such late policy initiative will work.
Q. In case the BJP before elections declare someone other than than NaMo as a PM candidate what will be the effect of it in the LS GE? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Supporters of Modi will not tolerate it.
Q. If NaMo is aspiring for Delhi,whom is he grooming for as his replacement at Gandhinagar office? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. He has never trusted anyone. Not groomed anyone. He held nine major portfolios. He does not even regard Advani or Sushma.
Q. In spite of so many corruption allegations on Cong-NCP leaders,why the public choice is for them? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Congress never got more than 40 per cent votes. Mean 60 percent vote against them. But the opposition is not united. Can Modi unite with Mulayam.