A game of numbers when numbers is the game


Congressman turned BJP man, Arun Nehru‘s latest back-of-the-envelope prediction in Deccan Chronicle for the 2009 general elections (part one here, part two here) continues to show a 15-seat  advantage for the Congress over the BJP, a week after the BJP-BJD alliance came apart in Orissa.

Looking at the manner in which each seat has begun to matter for the two so-called “national” parties, Sunil Gavaskar could well have politics in mind when he says on-air in one-day match commentary: “It doesn’t matter how they come. They all count in the end.”


The editors of the Bombay newspaper, DNA, on the other hand, give a clear 30-seat head start for the Congress & Co over the BJP & Co. However, while Nehru gives 257 seats for the regional parties, the paper  says “others” will grab 172, a difference of 85 seats.

DNA‘s prediction for Karnataka: “Congress, Deve Gowda may gain from BJP’s backfiring Hindutva.”

Graphics: courtesy Deccan Chronicle, DNA

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34 Responses to “A game of numbers when numbers is the game”

  1. Tathagata Mukherjee Says:

    WB + Kerala together 20 means, Left is down 66%. There goes all hope for 3rd front.

    BJP, or Cong- whoever gets more seat will form the next Govt. UPA, 3rd front allies, barring Lalu will join BJP.

  2. Alok Says:

    I think all predictions, back of the envelope or thesis size must be given short shrift in these elections because of the following factors:

    1. The BJP being hell bent on losing elections. How else do you explain the steady loss of allies, the endless bickering over seat sharing, the internal squabbles and the failure to trumpet either economy or security as a key issue in the elections.

    2. Since it is not likely that the national parties (i.e., BJP/Congress) will contest these elections as national parties, and no national-level issues being at stake, the LS elections will not only be 28 state elections put together, but also 543 individual contests.

    3. Apart from the fragmented nature of the contest this time, the fact that the delimitation exercise has taken place and thrown out all existing caste/region/religion/language calculations means that no predictions will have any reasonable chance of being correct. Plus, no one still knows accurately how urban India will vote (if it will at all).

  3. | Balu | Says:

    I have given up on Indian elections.. its worse than the stock market.. Schemes of politicians like Jayalalitha are worse than Madoff!

    PS: Last I heard, DNA is doing well in Bengaluru. Then why call it Bombay/Mumbai based paper?

  4. harkol Says:

    From here to May 16th is like From here to eternity!

    BJP is doing everything it can to loose. I think going about targetting and hitting civilians is a perfect way to make sure they won’t vote for you next time. And you may loose their friends too!

    Congress is doing its best to loose as well. But, TF will make sure the UPA wins in the end!!

  5. Observer Says:

    Tathagatha Mukherjee, Champion Spammer of Rediff, congrats man!! You have reached 423 posts in churumuri in such a short time!!!

    “tathagata mukherjee” site:churumuri.wordpress.com – 423 posts
    “tathagata mukherjee” site:rediff.com – 1410 posts

    What do you do for a living? In which sarkari bank do you head the Commie association?

  6. Palahalli Says:

    Observer – You’re observation is not so good after all.

    TM is not a Commie.

  7. Simple Says:


    Shiv Sena has openly said it will support NCP
    BJD has already quit NDA
    AIADMK has asked BJP to keep out of her alliance
    Trinamool ditched BJP
    Naidu dumped BJP
    National conference severed its links with BJP
    JDS says BJP is as evil as Cong
    Mayawati will never support BJP. But she will take BJPs support.

    Only single digit parties are left with BJP like INLD, RLD , AGP.

    12 other parties have abandoned NDA (down from 24 in 2004)

    yet, you have the profound intelligence to say parties will gravitate to BJP!

    Who wants to jump into a sinking ship?

    On the contrary, Cong hasn’t lost a single ally in the last five years. The loss of PDP has been made up with the National Conference jumping into the plane of UPA which is about to take off.

    Hop on thathatghata or you will be left stranded!

    And,I don’t quite agree with DNA’s analysis of Karnataka. The Mangalore incident will have marginal impact, it won’t dent BJP’s prospects.

    BJP’s tally in Karnataka will come down ONLY if JDS and Cong have a tie up. Else, it is advantage BJP in Karnataka. One of the rare states BJP will do well.

  8. Heckler Says:


    Your data & your observation is right on all other counts.

    Got any stats on palahalli? ;-)

    Anyway… I personally believe that hindutva will not backfire for the bjp. It works for them. Which is why they practise it. They’ve come from nowhere (in a span of around 30 years?), and thanks solely to the hindutva agenda (rath yatras, mosque demolitions, missionary burning, rioting etc.) they’ve tasted power in states & at the centre.

    It is silly to assume that hindutva hurts them. It works for them. They will gain from it.

    What do we Real Indians do? We meet & counter hindutva propaganda everywhere we meet it. We don’t engage the hardliners. We engage the ones who have an open mind & are willing to listen. We will slowly be able to reverse the rot that has set in over the last 30 years.

    Now please go & volunteer for teaching based social service initiatives. Educate as many people as you can touch on the truth & goodness of our country & how churumuri’s mad dictators are trying to ruin it!

  9. Coffee addict Says:

    I got Karnataka assembly results completely wrong. Will wait and watch!

  10. dharma Says:

    Our prediction is this. many may not agree but this is how it is going to be. So swallow it!
    Congress will form the government courtesy Prathiba Patil!
    BJP 229
    Congress 148
    Others 163

  11. Heckler Says:

    229? How??

  12. Vinay Says:

    It is true that the Mangalore incident etc. will not harm the BJP much. In fact, in India, it might actually help the BJP to some extent!!

  13. Simple Says:


    BJP and 229? Are you talking about BJP’s assembly seats in all the states it is ruling.


    Good joke.

  14. bomma Says:

    BJP and its ‘allies’ – RSS, VHP, ABVP, Ram Sene, Bajrang Dal and other offshoots are doing all they can to lose. Varun Gandhi’s shenanigans being the latest.

    Looks like Cong and the Third Front are going to gain just by being inactive.

  15. Heckler Says:

    Let’s hope so bomma. Let’s hope so.

    It will restore our faith in the idea of India.

  16. Tathagata Mukherjee Says:

    Simple: BJD has already quit NDA
    AIADMK has asked BJP to keep out of her alliance
    Trinamool ditched BJP
    Naidu dumped BJP
    National conference severed its links with BJP
    JDS says BJP is as evil as Cong
    Mayawati will never support BJP. But she will take BJPs support.

    All these parties have not dumped BJP/NDA because of ideological position of BJP. Many of them have not joined UPA like Mamta, AIADMK. Some will never join UPA like TDP, BJD. Many will rejoin BJP/NDA.

    Maya is THE ONLY leader of her stature who campaigned FOR MODI after 2002 Guj in Gujarat election.

    BJP is a cadre based, ideology driven party. It has the staying power. INFACT THE LONG TERM FIGHT IS NOT BETWEEN CONGRESS AND BJP. ITS BETWEEN BJP AND LEFT.

    Cong has no ideology and will not exist after few years/decades.

    Choose between BJP, or Left. There is no middle ground.


    hey Vinay, what do you say to what the Pope said on AIDS and condom?


    Hindutva Brotherhood has not behaved in such irresponsible manner. Worse, Indian media does not condemn these sort of statements from such a high official.

    No wonder, they are termed as psuedo.



    Update your funda. hehe…Cong could not make seat sharing with even one ally. BJP made that with ALL allies except BJD (that too not for ideological reasons BJD parted, BJP walked off because it will not surrender seats).

    You continuously oppose BJP. You have the very freedom to do that. I hope its not driven by exclusivist religious agenda of minoritism.

    If for a rational reason, other than psuedo polemic, you oppose BJP- you are welcome.


    Vinay>>It is true that the Mangalore incident etc. will not harm the BJP much. In fact, in India, it might actually help the BJP to some extent!!

    Yes, its unfortunate, but true. Social conservatism is growing in India, particularly amongst middle class Hindus. Its much bigger force than BJP/RSS. Rather, BJP/RSS are product of the same larger force.

  17. Simple Says:


    Your irrational, dogmatic hatred towards Congresss is not mature. you oversee congress’s stupendous contribution in making India a big name to reckon with in today’s world.

    You continue to defend the indefensible.

    NDA had 24 allies in 2004

    It is now to single digit.

    I challenge you to tell me, is this the growth or the decaying of the alliance.

    It was very easy for TDP and AIADMK to join BJP because BJP is not their chief opponent in these states. Even Mamta could have joined BJP, because she dislikes Cong for joining with Left.

    yet all thse three leaders did not join BJP alliance? Why?

    Because of ideology, what else? TDP and AIADMK have lost bitterly by aligning with BJP and they don’t want to repeat the mistake of 2004.

    BJPs numbers in parliament have been dwindling for the past ten years. While Congress has been on the upswing.

    It is a sorry tale of affairs that BJP even today claims it is a national party and gets ZERO seats in 12 states! Shocking!

    If cong has no ideology, what about BJP? BJP is willing to bend all its principles for the sake of power

    It compromised on its key pet issues, to stay in power. It compromised on dyanstic poltics, it compromised on Muslim appeasement (now it beats congress in winning over Muslims) it compromised on 370, on Ram temple, on reservations, on a 100 other things.

    You should not allow your indoctrinated hatred towards Congress to get the better of you.

    Please think.

  18. Heckler Says:


    Er… What happened to the earlier cadre-based, ideological precursor? The jansangh? Does anyone remember?

    How many years did they last? Only as long as they were given an opportunity to govern, right? Which they blew. That’s about the same pattern that this “old wine in a new bottle” party of yours is following. All the best. :-)


    Thank God some people can see roses where others can only obstinately see thorns. Ignoring the contributions of the Congress is as petty & biased as ignoring their failures.

  19. Vinay Says:

    “Social conservatism is growing in India, particularly amongst middle class Hindus.”

    I don’t think it is ‘growing’. Yes, the middle class is largely conservative, but that is the situation at this point in time. The new generation is less conservative, in general. And this is only natural. So while today, the Indian middle class is by and large conservative, there is a slow change that is occurring. I am saying just from observation, and no one can provide statistics or any kind of ‘proof’ for this anyway. Barring exceptions, the kids and youth are very different from the previous generation.

  20. Heckler Says:


    I believed that too until we discovered the same type of leaders in our generation (raj thakre & now varun); & the same mindsets on the blogosphere, that we thought would go away with time.

    My personal opinion is that unless we curb the spread of the rss shakha/madarsa culture, we will continue to struggle with these problems.

    It makes me wonder sometimes whether the commies aren’t right in wanting to enforce a no religion stance…

  21. Palahalli Says:

    “It makes me wonder sometimes whether the commies aren’t right in wanting to enforce a no religion stance…”

    – I am not surprised at all.

    A Secular-Liberal is so disconnected from his roots and so in love with Multi-Culturalism as a result of that disconnection; to the extent that he cannot countenance any kind of opposition to his scheme.

    Hindus, by the sheer fact that they are themselves a bloody conservative lot and the majority, block this Liberal dream from bearing fruit. They have become an unbearable thorn. This thorn must be removed and the liberal is losing patience.

    Is it any wonder that Nehru loved Stalin? So it carries on with his followers.

    “unless we curb the spread of the rss shakha/madarsa culture”

    – The delicacy of this deception is worthy of a Liberal.

  22. Heckler Says:


    It is typical of your flamer style to drag a Nehru-stalin debate into this.

    It is also typical of your inherent defensiveness that the moment the word “commie” is mentioned, it elicits an ill-thought out, knee-jerk reaction from you.

    Your resultant comment is peppered with venom against all the World considers good: Secular, Liberal, Multi-Culturalism.

    Why don’t you buy a good dictionary & look up the meaning of the words you berate? It’ll help you understand them better. Maybe you can berate them after you’ve properly understood them? Heard of the “walk a mile in their shoes” adage?

    And can you prove that this term you’ve concocted, this so -called “secular-liberal” is actually disconnected with his/her roots?

    Mallika Sarabhai falls under the secular & the liberal category. Are you venturing to suggest that she is disconnected with her roots?

  23. Palahalli Says:

    Heckler – Fools refer books when they have the world they can experience.

    An adage you will find difficult to fathom.

    Secular, Liberal, Multi-Culturalism. – Yes, obviously a whole lot of the establishment worldwide considers this good. No wonder we are in such mire. That’s no coincidence.

    Really? Mallika falls under this category? Good for her. Maybe it would have been better if she fought under a Communist label instead of as an independent. (?) But then, she would not have been party to you’re enforcing a “no-religion” stance too. Let me know if I’m wrong.

    Think, Heckler…think.

  24. Heckler Says:

    AND you’re back at your evasive ways AGAIN!!! :-D

    Just answer the questions that have been asked of you if you want to have a discussion. If you just want to talk & have your rant heard, then it’s a different story… I’m happy to walk away right now, if that’s going to be your stance.

    I wasn’t even talking about her candidature. I asked you this:

    Does Mallika Sarabhai, in your esteemed opinion, belong to this group from Mars, this secular-liberal group that you keep referring to as if you were sitting with a mala jap-oing their name? Does she or does she not (in your esteemed opinion)? It’s a Yes/No thing.

    Hopefully, my question will not make you think so much. :-)

  25. Palahalli Says:

    Heckler, DON’T get excited!

    Mallika says she wants parties with Secular Ideologie(s) to support her. I don’t know if that means she’s Secular-Liberal and a (knave)!

    And if this is the impression she gave the author, then that makes her a manipulator as well.

    “It situates her in her socio-economic background as a representative of an influential family, which set up the Darpana Academy for Performing Arts, an institute built on the Nehruvian philosophy of modernity.”

    Yeah…she’s right there on the DOT. Good luck to her and good luck to you :)

  26. Vinay Says:

    “It makes me wonder sometimes whether the commies aren’t right in wanting to enforce a no religion stance…”

    Whether it is right or wrong is a big big huge debate – we’ll have educated people speaking for both sides. What I am certain of is that it is not possible to enforce a no-religion stance. It is pretty much impossible. Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev.. the lot – all of them tried hard for 70 years with the KGB, labor camps, and the entire state apparatus behind them. The weren’t able to succeed.

    But I agree with you on Palahalli’s hate about things the whole world considers good. Liberals are the ones who have helped humanity progress throughout history. If we had ‘conservatives’ like Palahhalli throughout history we would have still been living in caves. Conservatives want status quo and perhaps a return to some bygone ‘Golden Age’. For example, this is true of Mullah Fazlullah, Mullah Omar and Palahalli.

  27. Palahalli Says:

    Vinay – Don’t use quotes when you call me a Conservative. Just use the word :)

    I loved to see you’re roll-call of Heckler’s favorites.

    Now tell me what you would have proposed for India IF this list of worthies had succeeded in their enforcement of the no-religion stance? (And what does this actually mean? Because the Communist thugs looked at eradicating religion from the minds of their people. They butchered priests and nuns and turned Churches into sheds. So, please tell me clearly, what you mean by this and you’re non-chalant reasoning of why they did not succeed in their noble endevour? After all…they “tried hard”) Our CPM still has the father thug’s picture hanging over their heads.

    Btw, who told you Conservatives favor a status quo?

    How does what I say, remind you of you’re various mullahs?

  28. Simple Says:

    Vinay, Heckler

    Well said.

    Nature does not like Stagnant/Conservative approach to life.

    Nature wants everything to evolve.

    Those who don’t evolve, go extinct.

    Conservatives have never accomplished anything anywhere in the world.

    The modern world, (with all its comfort, conveneiences and civlized approach to life), is what it is today, because of progressive, liberal thinkers.

    The Church with its conservative rigid stance, believed that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. People like Palahalli, if he was born then, would have been the first person to support the church for its anti-progress ideology.

    Thankfully liberal/sensible people outnumber rigid ones like Palahalli. Otherwise we would be still drawing pictures in caves, instead of surfing the net.

  29. Palahalli Says:

    Simple – Evolve is the word.

    Change for the sake of change and when experience has confirmed it to be harmful, is being a foolish Liberal.

    For instance, take now. You, in blindly aping the blunders of Vinay and Heckler’s cries for “change”, are being a foolish Liberal. But if you had raised questions and called out inconsistencies and then, made up you’re own mind, you would be a Conservative.

  30. Heckler Says:


    I’m not excited in the least bit. My comment to every unbiased eye will come across as measured, straightforward, balanced & devoid of overt passion.

    1. Since you are (as is your defensive-conservative wont) beating around the bush, I will take your comment as an allusion to Ms. Sarabhai’s Secular & Liberal thought processes.

    Now, let’s address your earlier “gem”:

    A Secular-Liberal is so disconnected from his roots…

    Ms. Sarabhai lives & works in her father’s native Gujarat. She is an exponent of 2 Classical Indian Dance forms. She has brought international renown to India through her work. Her education makes her worthy of her illustrious parentage & India’s historic culture of learning. She works for the upliftment of the downtrodden, women etc., putting into practise values of love & service, which have long been held to be inherent to our culture.

    Would your unique thought process care to explain how she is disconnected with her roots…?

    2. For the record I don’t know Vinay. In case your blinkers prevented you from noticing, I was actually countering Vinay’s comment when I started off with him. It’s just that God tends to bring good people together. (Does that make you “good people” too???)

    I must point out at this point that since you tend to evade answering questions all the time, your asking questions of Vinay, is a little inconsistent… :-)


    I’m trying to be as polite as possible with our right-wing friend here; but that shouldn’t stop me from grinning from ear to ear at him being accurately likened to a caveman!!! :-D

    The point you’ve made above was exactly the point I was making to him in our last conversation. It’s a pity he didn’t pay attention the last time.

  31. Vinay Says:


    “Now tell me what you would have proposed for India IF this list of worthies had succeeded in their enforcement of the no-religion stance?”

    Whether this list of worthies had succeeded or not, I wouldn’t put people in a Gulag for praying to their God. Speaking of punishments and labor camps however, if I were a dictator with supreme power in India, I can certainly think of a lot of people who would be better placed in a labor camp than anywhere else.

    For example, Ananth Kumar Hegde, BJP candidate who made a statement yesterday: “I already have 63 criminal cases against me, I don’t care if EC puts one more”.

    Then we have this Samajwadi party guy who declared a fatwa and offered a 150 crore prize for beheading a Danish cartoonist.

    And of course, Pramod Mutalik, who has so many criminal cases against him that people will lose count soon.

    Anyway, you’ve shown a little bit of assholism here too, putting words in my mouth, jumping to conclusions out of unstated facts, etc. etc. Re-read my post, and your response. It would be a good exercise.


    “How does what I say, remind you of you’re various mullahs?”


    The evil Pakistani/Talibani Jihadi Mullah is the creature I despise most of all. Now you – you and your ilk – are doing your best, trying as hard as you can – to bring to the fore a Hindu version of the evil Mullah. Whats more, you guys are trying your hardest to match the mullahs in idiocy, prudishness and all the rest of it..

  32. Heckler Says:


    YAY!!!!!!!!!!! Aptly summed up! I wouldn’t venture to call pallu an @$$#0&3. Not because I’m not tempted, not because I would risk offending our “toxin exit gateway”, but because I’m better than him & his type. No?

    Look me up. I’d like to connect.

  33. Palahalli Says:

    Heckler – I’ll keep this simple. I’m certain you should be able to understand elementary logic.

    You asked me if Mallika was a Secular-Liberal.

    I have provided you with facts to show she is one.

    To you, Mallika might seem very rooted..because of her contribution to dance. To me, she doesn’t, because of her politics. Her politics alienates her from her own people.

    Besides, all parties have people of achievement rooting for them. Mallika is not a novelty.

    Vinay, I wouldn’t have known you did not prefer the Gulag if you had not told me now :) Yes, I re-read the posts and cannot think of another interpretation. Maybe you should re-phrase.

    Well…you know what? I’m not talking about the Evil Pakistani et al. I’m talking about Islam, period.

    Now about me acting like Islam’s people;

    If I were to adapt you’re style, I would have to say you’ve been a fool all you’re life :)

    Cheer up. Next time, state the argument where I have matched you’re herd.

  34. Heckler Says:


    2 BIG mistakes:

    1. Ignoring Ms. Sarabhai’s education, her stayed “rooted” in Gujarat, her social service, all are in line with the culture of the India I belong to.
    Maybe you missed it, because these things are not in the culture of the India you belong to…?

    2. Walk a mile in Islam’s people’s shoes, before commenting on them, will you?

    Or will you continue to be the irresponsible, devoid of proof, flamer-commenter that you’re by now widely acknowledged as?

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