Column: Why the BJP loves AAP

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SummaryHeadline May 2014: AAP and Congress split the vote and Bharatiya Janata Party obtains a majority.

it most likely signals the birth of Luddite and extremely dishonest economics. Until I read the AAP manifesto, I believed that it was a close race between Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for the title of Populist of the Century. In her spurt over the last five years, the close race is no more—Ms Gandhi is the champion. But I believe the title should go to Mr Kejriwal as revealed by his economic views as quoted above.

The other big story of Election 2013 is the absence or presence of a Modi wave. The Congress people say no, and they provide proof by pointing to the two states Delhi and Chhattisgarh—these states show virtually no vote gain for the BJP, indeed witnessed a marginal average 1 percentage point loss. The AAP supporters point to their giant killing activity in Delhi and make unveiled inferences about the lack of a third alternative (i.e. absence of AAP) in the two BJP victorious states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

It is fun to speculate on the counterfactual, but also difficult. The only recourse one has is to look at history and when history does not have an occurrence like AAP (it does not in India) then one is left with a “take it or leave it analysis”. So here goes. Voting data for all four states is strongly indicative of an anti-Congress (not anti-incumbent) wave. And data for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is indicative of the presence of a Modi wave. Note the following. First, even in Delhi where the AAP was the big alternative, the CNN-IBN-CSDS opinion poll results revealed that at least half of those people voting for the AAP in Delhi would vote for Modi in the Lok Sabha election. And the AAP’s own survey indicated that a third of the people would do so!

In a three-cornered contest, the Delhi poll resulted in the lowest-ever Congress seats—8 compared to 10 they obtained in the Emergency election of 1977. The two-cornered Rajasthan election results are even more shocking and out of the ballpark. The average number of seats that the Congress has obtained in 13 past Rajasthan elections was 92. But in the 2013 election, the BJP humbled the Congress to beat this record by a wide margin. The Congress obtained almost half of their lowest ever, and half the Emergency 1977 election—21 seats. (The lowest seats ever obtained

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