Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A hung assembly in offering?

The fortunes of many a leaders from the major various parties including 1369 independents who are contesting for the 230 state assembly seats is now decided and, Who will win and who will not will be clear on the 8th of December when the counting of ballot paper begins.The elections were marred by violence as a former minister and sitting BJP legislator,Sunil Nayak,was gunned down outside a polling booth allegedly by brother of his Congress rival.

The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress had different aspirations before going to the poll, but all that seems to have changed now. The BJP which was earlier hoping to win comfortably is now nervous that whether it will be able to reach the magical mark of 116 or not. For the Congress it is the opposite as political pundits who earlier gave it no chance to form the government are now divided and are of the view that Congress may just sneak in.

According to surveys conducted by various bodies post-polling, Congress will perform better than expected and will be able to win in more than 90 constituencies. The Congress leaders drawing heart from the above assessment are working on formulas and alliances which they might have to use in case they fall just short of the majority.

The lesser parties have done too much damage for the BJP. All predictions point out that the gap between the number of seat won by the Congress and the BJP will be too less for any of them to draw comfort.

Candidates of Uma Bharti’s BJS may well emerge in more than 10 seats. Similarly BSP is also expected to win more than 5 seats. If we count the Gondwana Gantantra party the expected loss of seat to non BJP and non Congress may well be in the region of 35- 45 assembly seats.

In some areas the vote share of the BJP candidates in particular has been eaten away by BJS candidates and this may well have a large bearing on the final picture.

With no party gaining majority one cannot rule out a scenario where the state witness a hung assembly or not will be decided by the independents and the lesser parties.

Independents have played crucial role in government formation in Madhya Pradesh once before, in 1969, when the Independent legislators helped Govind Narain Singh to form a government. The outgoing assembly has only two independent legislators, though it should not be forgotten that they still managed to garner 7.7 per cent of the total votes polled.

The BJP might seek the help of the estranged Uma Bharti and Mayawati in case it needs support. For Congress it will be Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP, and the independents if the need arises to look for partners.

The last ditch, whirlwind campaigning taken-up by Pachori is sure to help his party’s and his own cause. For he alongwith Union minister Kamalnath is a front runner for the post of chief minister. Similarly the general perception of the BJP leaders among the voters, specially the working class, is that of being corrupt which political pundits say has dented the party’s image.

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