New Delhi, Nov 2
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have done some much-needed catch up with ground reports suggesting it could make impressive gains in the fourth phase of polls for 55 seats that saw the voter turnout going up by nearly four percent from the third phase.
Feedback received from various sources—journalists, political workers, independent analysts and common voters—gives the impression that for the first time during the staggered five-phase polls the BJP might have gained an upper hand over the so-called “Grand secular alliance.” The BJP-led NDA is expect to gain a lead of around 10-12 seats over the Grand Alliance in this round by winning 33-34 seats out of 55. The Grand alliance could end up winning 21-22 seats.
The Performancegurus had assessed that at the end of the third round the NDA was poised to get 56 seats and Grand alliance 75 seats. Going by that assessment, at the end of the fourth round NDA’s is estimated to narrow the gap with a combine tally of around 90 seats whereas the Grand Alliance might be marginally ahead, winning 96 seats.
But the NDA’s joy could be short-lived. In the fifth phase, where the Muslim-Yadav combine decides the outcome on most of the 57 seats, the Grand Alliance is poised to make major gains. So, even if both the NDA and the Grand alliance are neck and neck at the end of the fourth round, the former will have to hope for a miracle to capture power in the state.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n the fourth round, the NDA has done remarkably well in Muzaffarpur where it could hope to win at least seven out of 10 seats. The BJP-led alliance could also lead in East and West Champaran , winning 13 out of 21 seats. But the grand alliance may gain upper hand in Siwan where it can win four out of six seats and Gopalganj where it is expected to capture three seats.
Sources said that the higher turnout was partially due to aggressive casteist and communal campaign launched by both the sides ahead of the fourth phase. While the Grand Alliance leaders have continued harping that the BJP was conspiring to snatch away from the Dalits and Other backward castes the benefit of reservation in job and educational institution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tried to balance it by accusing Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad of plotting to give five per cent reservation to Muslims.
In an election where the campaign has been divisive and polarizing, the real issues of development have been thrown on the back burner of political exigency. The attempt to polarize and divide the voters might intensify in the firth phase because of the Muslims and Yadav are formidable force in the region.
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