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5 state elections: Exit poll projections range from a farce to the far-fetched

Pollsters run full time advisories on election management charging hundreds of crores. They can make or break political careers with their advice “based on research” leading to denial or offer of party tickets.

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By Neeraj Mishra

Every year, some states have elections and every year, a farcical drama is played out on television channels, for days adding up to the actual counting hour. Familiar faces create and discuss highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters indulge in violence of words and extravagant exaggeration.

It is all aimed at creating confusion in the voter’s mind, infusing satta markets with more punters and general joy at the expense of viewers. This year is no different. India Today thinks the BJP can get 162 seats in Madhya Pradesh bettering its previous tally by more than 50. It does not pause to think why and how this is possible. The perceived anti-incumbency of 20 years has been turned on its head and a Gujarat-like result is possible without a similar communal situation or voter mindset.

At the same time, there are three other channels which think it’s a close race giving an average of only 100 seats to the BJP, 16 short of majority. Psephology is now a full time business with at least a dozen big companies that employ innumerable fake scientists.

Some of these companies have taken this to the next level like Prashant Kishor. They run full time advisories on election management charging hundreds of crores. They can make or break political careers with their advise “based on research” leading to denial or offer of party tickets. Clearly, winning is the only thing that matters as stakes are too high and the prize is control over the entire system at the state level.

Back to the exit polls though, the song on Chhattisgarh is quite identical in every channel. Every psephologist worth his salt knows that the BJP was so far behind in 2018 at 15 seats compared to the Congress’ 70 that to recover and beat it would be next to impossible, so every channel has the Congress ahead. But in a house of 90 to say that BJP will get between 36-46 seats and Congress will get 40-50 seats is a joke at the very least.

It would mean both parties are forming the government and the researcher is not sure so he has played safe. Keeping a two per cent margin in predictions is absolutely unacceptable here, since traditionally the difference between the two parties has been less than 2 per cent, except in 2018. Even a 0.75 per cent difference in votes can lead to a BJP-50 and Congress-38 situation in 2013. So to say, the BJP can get between 36 to 46 seats is absurd.

It’s the difference between losing and forming the government. After having covered more than two dozen elections, one has seen that the safest way to predict results is based on the prevailing mood about three months before the elections are announced. Barring something as drastic as Pulwama, people are unlikely to change their mind at the last moment.

So to say all along the campaign period that such and such party is improving its position is mostly low conjecture. Another noticeable thing in this elections has been the freebies on offer by sitting governments in all states. Shivraj Singh Chouhan beat them all by announcing he would give Rs 3000 per month to every married woman if voted back to power.

He even delivered two installments during the campaign period while the Election Commission did nothing about it, it did stop K. Chandrashekhar Rao from dispensing his pro-farmer cash. So have the labharthis (beneficiaries) then appropriated this round of elections? They certainly have caused a major rift among psephologists.

The wide difference in their predictions is perhaps also caused by which set of Labharthi they talked to. Labharthis also tend to aggregate their votes regionally. For instance in famine-ridden Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh, Rs 3000 means a lot but not so much in more affluent Malwa-Nimad.

The Congress’ offer of loan waiver may trump the BJP’s offer of Rs 12000 per annum to every woman over 18 in the Chhattisgarh plains but in the hilly tribal areas, it still rings a bell. Exit poll is an effective salve to pacify nervous candidates and supporters. No one really remembers or credits the channels with anything even if they were spot on. It is only a three-day carnival and should be treated as such. Real life happens on counting day.

India News

Rajya Sabha Election: Congress wins 3 seats in Karnataka, BJP 1

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister CM DK Shivakumar said this shows the unity and integrity of Congress. He thanked all the MLAs, party workers and the media. He said he is very happy that all the candidates from Congress won. He thanked all the voters, chief minister and the party workers and the AICC president also.

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The ruling Congress in Karnataka won three seats and the BJP one in the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka on Tuesday. The candidates who were selected to Rajya Sabha are Syed Naseer Hussain, GC Chandrasekhar and Ajay Maken who belong to the Congress, and Narayansa K Bhandage of the BJP.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister CM DK Shivakumar said this shows the unity and integrity of Congress. He thanked all the MLAs, party workers and the media. He said he is very happy that all the candidates from Congress won. He thanked all the voters, chief minister and the party workers and the AICC president also. He said he would like to thank Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge.

Congress candidates Naseer Hussain and former union minster Ajay Maken won with 47 votes, while GC Chandrasekhar secured 45 votes. The BJP won 1 Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka with candidate Narayansa Bhandage securing 47 votes.

Each Rajya Sabha candidate needed at least 45 votes in the 224-MLA Karnataka Assembly to win a Rajya Sabha seat from the state. With 135 MLAs, the Congress had the exact number to elect its three candidates. The BJP has 66 MLAs, which secured a comfortable win for party worker Narayansa Bhandage.

The Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant following the retirement of 4 members – Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar (BJP) and Congress’s GC Chandrashekhar, Syed Naseer Hussain and L Hanumanthaiah

5 candidates contested for the 4 Rajya Sabha seats in the elections, including JD(S) contestant D Kupendra Reddy. The elections were marred by cross-voting. One of the BJP MLAs, ST Somasekhar voted for the Congress’s Maken, the other, A Shivaram Hebbar, abstained. Leader of Opposition R Ashoka said they would seek action against Somahekhar, and termed the MLA’s decision political suicide. Soon after voting, Somashekhar told the media that he voted as per his conscience.  

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Entertainment

Karan Johar hails Anant Ambani’s Vantara initiative, here’s more about the project

Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation announced the launch of Vantara on Monday.

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Karan Johar thanked Anant Ambani for his new initiative, Vantara, on his Instagram post today. KJo discussed the program and the Ambani family’s deep-rooted passion for animals in this post.

Taking to Instagram, the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai-director shared a video and said, with its foundation in a profound love for animals and wildlife in general, Anant Ambani’s Vantara effort only serves to confirm his faith in his compassion and commitment for the cause. Karan Johar also said Anant Ambani never dose anything half-hearted as he gave the world a more heart-ful space.

The Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani director said Vantara is not only about saving and caring for animals; it also strives to give them the greatest possible rehabilitation. The Vantara initiative, recently introduced by Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation, is dedicated to the rescue, medical attention, and rehabilitation of hurt, mistreated, and endangered animals, both domestically and overseas. The filmmaker extended his love and support to the entire Reliance group and also thanked them again for providing a safe space for wildlife.

What is Vantara Initiative?

On Monday, Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation announced the launch of Vantara, a broad program designed to save, caring for, treat, and rehabilitate wounded abused, and threatened animals both domestically and worldwide.

The project is regarded as the largest animal rescue and rehabilitation center in the world. It was the idea of Anant Ambani,who is on the boards of Reliance Industries and Reliance Foundation.

Located across 3,000 acres, the animal refuge is situated in the Green Belt of Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery Complex and features a jungle-like environment that mimics the natural, enriching, lush and verdant habitat for the rescued species to thrive in. It is said that more than 2,000 rescued animals have been transported to the facility from all around the world and the country.

Meanwhile, Anant Ambani soon-to-be wife Radhika Merchant is also involved in this initiative.

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India News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says BJP will win 10 seats or more from Kerala in Lok Sabha elections

The Prime Minister said during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Kerala gave a two digit vote share for the BJP but this time the party will win 2 digit seats from Kerala. He added the opposition parties have realised their defeat in the elections of 2024. PM Modi said they have lost their mental balance. He said the opposition parties do not have a roadmap for the country’s development.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Thiruvanthpuram on Tuesday that the BJP would win double-digit seats from Kerala in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Prime Minister was addressing a rally of BJP workers to mark the conclusion of a month-long, state-wide padyatra led by party state president K Surendran.

The Prime Minister said during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Kerala gave a two digit vote share for the BJP but this time the party will win 2 digit seats from Kerala. He added the opposition parties have realised their defeat in the elections of 2024. PM Modi said they have lost their mental balance. He said the opposition parties do not have a roadmap for the country’s development.

He said their only agenda is to utter abuses against Modi. He said he is confident that Kerala will stand with him this time. This has been the prime minister’s third visit to Kerala in less than 2 months. The prime minister said the huge crowd that had joined the Surendran-led padyatra has made the BJPs target of 370 seats in the Lok Sabha easier.

The Prime Minister said he is committed to fulfill the expectations of people and this is Modi’s guarantee. He said the BJP-led union government has never shown any discrimination towards Kerala. He said in the last 10 years the BJP-led central government has ensured Kerala’s development and the wise people of the state know this.

PM Modi predicted that in the third term of the BJP government, India will become the largest force in the world and this is Modi’s Guarantee. He said the third Modi government will increase its fight against corruption. He added in the last 10 years, more than 25 crore people have been brought out of poverty. The Prime Minister referred to various development projects and schemes which have been launched during the BJP rule at the centre. 

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