Roop Karnani is a Senior Journalist, Author and Industry Analyst
The stock markets are already optimistic about a BJP victory in 4 of the 5 states in which elections are underway and the results of all 5 states are slated to come out on December 8th – a date which investors should watch out for keenly as not only will it provide the next trigger, but will also set the trend for markets in the run-up to the May 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Brokers have come up with their own seat projection for the 4 main states Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, while it is a foregone conclusion that Congress will come back to power in Mizoram.
In the other 4 states the seat projections indicate BJP claiming about 130 seats in M.P. as against 86 by Congress, while in Rajasthan it is 113 to BJP and 63 to Congress.
In Chhattisgarh, it is a much closer fight expected with market operators giving BJP 46 to 48 and Congress 42 to 44 seats in a 90 seat Assembly, meaning BJP is expected to scrape through with a slender majority and form the next government.
In Delhi, brokers’ poll shows BJP winning 37 seats to Congress 25; again the former looks set to dislodge Sheila Dixit from power.
Similarly, India Today Org poll also shows the BJP coming to power in these 4 states and Mizoram going to Congress, albeit with different seat projections.
Mizoram is the only bright spot in an otherwise gloomy scenario for the Congress. There is a definite anti-Congress feeling in the electorate mainly due to corruption, scams, price rise and according to the Gallup Poll, an international organization, mainly due to bad handling of the economy. Gallup points out that India’s GDP, which was growing at 9.4% in the 1st quarter of 2010, has plunged to 4.4% in the 2nd quarter of 2013, mainly due to an inept handling of the economy by the Manmohan Singh led UPA. This has led to high inflation and prices of essential commodities like vegetable and fuel going through the roof and refusing to come down.
As a result, Gallup says that a quarter of the country’s population is ‘suffering’, while half of it is ‘struggling’, and of the remaining 20% are just about all right and only about 5% are ‘thriving’; Which means that a vast majority of the country is in ‘misery’ and is going to reflect in the polls in form of a socio-economic unrest.
For example, the Org poll in Delhi shows that Congress will get only about 18 seats down from 43 last time and BJP will get 40 while AAP will get 10 and the rest will go to others.
Congress in Delhi is not losing because of Sheila Dixit, whose performance has been quite ok, but because of the UPA government at the centre in Delhi, which has failed to check the price rise and is steeped in corruption. Experts feel Delhi elections will be a referendum on the Centre’s total failure, arrogance and blatant corruption, rather than the state government’s performance. This certainly would reflect the feelings of the people in the rest of the country.
On the other hand, Congress leaders in Delhi should take a lesson from their own CM, Lalthanavala in Mizoram, who has provided a honest, transparent, corruption-free and good governance in the state where he is seen to have no problems in returning to power.
A decisive result in 4 major states on December 8th in favour of BJP is expected to boost the Nifty by about 200 points, but in case there is a massive anti-Congress wave seen, and if it is decimated getting much lower number of seats, than the opinion polls indicate, then the Nifty could rally all the way upto 6500 before a meaningful correction sets in.