CONUNDRUM

It is the season of the elections and everyone who is anyone is out predicting the outcomes. A few with crystal balls, others with calculators and psephology Ph D tucked under their arm, and yet others, the wizards of poll – caste. community, communal – management. What’s common among them? They all are wrong.

Elections are a complex interplay of national, state and local issues.  It is near impossible for human brain or even the best artificial intelligence – e.g. Libratus – to predict the elections outcome: by personal observation, field surveys or polls using sophisticated psephology. I don’t remember anyone getting the poll predictions right in the recent years. Not only here, but even in the US with the most sophisticated technology and methodology: they got the Trump verdict wrong. Absolutely wrong.

Take UP, for example. BJP is without a CM candidate, without even a tall leader. On the other hand, Pappu-Akhilesh jodi projects a ‘youthful and fresh,’ anti-corrupt, for law and order, image. If elections were to be won by people’s perception alone, then this jodi should win hands down.

But what do the polls say. Almost every Poll says that BJP will get the majority and form the govt; that even in a hung Assembly, BJP will be the majority party. The Poll most favourable to SP-Cong gives them 154-170 seats. And every Poll places BSP third with 79-103 seats.

And all these polls predate (the latest was published yesterday, 30 Jan ’17) the ‘catcher in the rye’ in reverse: Mulayam. He declared that he will not support SP-Cong jodi and won’t campaign for them; and he incited the die-hard SP-ites to contest against Cong candidates.

Is Mulayam finished politically? Won’t his stance influence the hard-core SP-ites into not supporting the SP-Cong jodi, or at least the Cong candidates? What about Shiv Pal, is he a finished story?

And the final conundrum. In a hung Assembly, won’t BSP be the king-maker, even the King?

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