Exit polls 2014: Why impact of `Modi wave` is off the mark

Pollsters have near unanimously predicted that it’s going to be Ab ki Baar Modi Sarkar in Delhi.

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Updated: May 13, 2014, 16:46 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar

New Delhi: Pollsters have near unanimously predicted that it’s going to be Ab ki Baar Modi Sarkar in Delhi.

While ascendancy of BJP was seen coming for a while now given the strong anti-incumbency against the Congress-led UPA government after 10 years in power, the self-proclaimed upholders of `secularism` in country had remained confident that India will not support a `divisive` leader like Modi.

`Maut Ka Saudagar`, `Butcher of Gujarat`, the range and acridity of attacks was thought to be enough to scare voters from taking a chance with him.

However, if exit polls turn out to be true Modi is set to become the next prime minister of India. The projections: ABP-Neilsen gave NDA 281 seats, CNN-IBN 270-282, India Today-Cicero 261-283, India TV-CVoter 289, New24-Chanakya 340 and Times Now-ORG 249.

In a house of 543 seats, the BJP-led NDA needs 272 seats to form the government. All the polls other than the one on Times Now have predicted a majority for the NDA, with the one done by Chanakya predicting a landslide with 340 seats for the NDA.

The BJP and the growing tribe of NaMo chanters attribute the success to the charisma of one man – Narendra Modi. Rightly so, as the self proclaimed `chai- wala`, who even said he will go back to selling tea if he loses the polls, has run the most extensive poll campaign ever in the history of independent India.

From carpet bombing India with rallies to hologram magic to woo rural India, Modi employed all conventional and unconventional campaign methods to reach out to the electorate.

BJP`s 2014 push was akin to the US presidential elections in style and tenor. It all revolved around one man.

Either support or scorn. The middle path, which has always been the chosen play area of the political class was consciously ignored to make it a referendum on Modi.

If it was a referendum on one individual then the results – despite the plurality of Indian society - will also have to be one among the two extremes.

Either Modi may be rejected completely or embraced completely, the scope for a third option looks limited.

In this context, the so called `Modi wave` will have to have been a `Modi Tsunami` or a complete damp squib.

When a Tusnami is in motion, it makes inroads into hitherto uncharted territories. While some of this movement is said to have helped the BJP make inroads into Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, the Modi Tsunami would have reached deeper into territories held by regional satraps if its presence is to be taken as true.

Alternatively, if `Modi wave` was only a figment of imagination propped by the media then NDA will not reach even 200 seats.

However, with `Chanakya` (the only agency that got it right in all four states in 2013) predicting 340 seats, Modi appears to have indeed captured the imagination of the country.

The Modi wave is off the mark, it might just be a Tsunami.