Election 2014: The big battle is now between BJP’s Narendra Modi and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal

A spectre is haunting BJP: the Modi effect may be dented by the Kejriwal effect, spoiling BJP’s chances of leading a stable government after the 2014 election.

BJP has done well in the four state assembly elections, but Aam Aadmi Party has done even better. Starting from scratch, it has captured almost a third of the popular vote, and denied BJP a majority in Delhi.

AAP has already started organising for 2014 in 380 districts, more than half the country including all big towns and cities. If it replicates even a fraction of its Delhi achievement, it can win 20-40 seats, denying BJP a clear victory in the 2014 election.

We now have three possibilities for 2014. If BJP can win 200 seats, it can form a stable coalition, but that requires Modi to win back ground lost to AAP in Delhi.

The second possibility is a BJP with 150-160 seats, forming a ramshackle coalition that is unlikely to last 5 years. Yet another possibility is a Third Front regime supported from outside by BJP, unstable and shortlived.

The markets have soared on hopes of a Modi inspired sweep. They must now check their enthusiasm. The rise of AAP is not exactly good news for them: high priority will now be given to a Lokpal and crushing corruption, and this could lead to more arrests of businessmen and bureaucratic paralysis.

The Modi effect should have been sharpest in Delhi, where BJP has no tall leader or recent track record. Modi made a huge effort through rallies in Delhi, yet BJP vote share actually declined by two percentage points.

Nor did the Modi effect work in Chhattisgarh. In Rajasthan, the Modi effect can claim some credit for BJP’s unprecedented sweep. But in Madhya Pradesh, the credit clearly goes to Shivraj Singh Chouhan, not Modi.

Indeed, Chouhan now emerges as a possible PM. In 1998, Advani was the hard face of BJP while Vajpayee was the soft face, and the soft face alone could win over enough allies to form a government.

In 2014, the soft BJP face of Chouhan may be more attractive to allies than Modi’s hard face. Much depends on how much ground Modi can claw back in next five months. He will go on a blitz against corruption and misgovernance, trying to claim the ground that AAP has now occupied. His main hope is to encourage those who supported AAP in Delhi to switch to BJP in 2014.

This is possible: many voters in Delhi told pollsters they would vote for AAP in the state election and BJP in the general election.

However, Kejriwal hopes the Delhi semi-victory will inspire millions of disgruntled youth to switch from Modi to AAP. The battle against Rahul Gandhi is over: the man is finished for now. The big battle is now between Modi and Kejriwal.

3 thoughts on “Election 2014: The big battle is now between BJP’s Narendra Modi and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal

  • 2014.Apr.09 at 19:56
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    Mr.Swaminathan writes based on current trends. What wrong Rahul gandhi did for India, He joined as a Trainee and all youngsters probably wanted to get trained and come up in proper way to mainstream. But in the process Mamta- Sharad- Lallu exploited the power house by threatening to withdraw support, the current government rather than governing wanted to take care of allies, then came the time when our Great opposition party started abandoning the parliament and wasted time. So the current government could not do anything positive other than running behind corruption and removing the corrupt ministers, Running behind terrorist and other created problems. Now we all know that the mandate is being given to Modi and if he is not going to get full majority and if two of their allies or Jayalaitha who will be the trump card holder for any one to come to power dictate terms and the opposition goes and sit near the well, nothing will move even for him and the country will suffer, Now it is the right time that all the good politician join hand and do something good which is transperent to public,

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  • 2013.Dec.28 at 17:08
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    It is too early Captain Chandak. Political masters failed in judging how Kejriwal has moved. Mr. Rahul Gandhi now accepts we need to do “the way AAP has done”. Outspoken and ill spoken Digvijay Singh now accepts what Rahul failed to deliver, Mr. Kejriwal has done. Wait to see his performane. Surely going to give run to Mr. Modi

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  • 2013.Dec.10 at 10:40
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    Dear Sir,
    Now that Sonia-nomics (rhymes well with yours) has been rejected by voters you’ve begun to scare people unnecessarily. There’s no alternative to a decisive leadership, even Modi-baiters like yourself would acknowledge. Mr Kejriwal type is another Ms Mamta Banerjee in the making: Always blame somebody else but shirk responsibility.
    Regards,
    Capt P K Chandak
    New Delhi

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