29 September, 2020

A Wee Swing To The Right

The BJP is placed ahead, but just. Look out for a hectic-and quite probably vicious-campaign

A Wee Swing To The Right

If politicians are considered slippery, the electorate is proving slipperier. Just six months ago, as Vajpayee and the BJP flopped and floundered, opinion polls were giving the Congress a clear mandate at the Centre. Then Kargil happened, and everyone, expert and layperson, declared it would be a sweep for the BJP. Now the Outlook-cms poll shows the electorate's mood is not such an easily divined thing. The BJP and its allies will make it back to power, but likely by a surprisingly slim majority. Vajpayee, fuelled by Kargil, will be the singular engine of the BJP's return. And, wonders, Sonia Gandhi personally is not doing badly at all and is, by a long shot, the only leader who stands up to Vajpayee's ratings.

The savvy parents' guide for school-going children-it doesn't matter how you do for 11 years as long as you max the board exams-is working beautifully for Vajpayee. The charisma of the "first non-Congress politician with a pan-Indian identity" has multiplied and his popularity cuts across most social barriers. The Outlook-cms poll has revealed that for the...



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