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To Win in 2019, Congress Needs a Masterplan For Young Voters

As the aspirational voter gets disillusioned with Modi, Congress can woo them with a masterplan before 2019 polls.

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As the aspirational voter gets disillusioned with Modi, Congress can woo them with a masterplan before 2019 polls.

The task of predicting election results is often fraught with failure. When opinion polls get it wrong more often than not, what chance does a prognosis based on subjective analysis and anecdotal evidence have?

The null hypothesis is that Modi will win the 2019 general elections. In ordinary language, this is the prevalent belief. The alternative hypothesis or the contrarian claim, is that Modi will lose.

Also Read: Why India Lacks Effective Opposition

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My approach includes applying simple logic on a set of possible events. As guru Nicholas Taleb had said:

It is not a mistake to use logic without statistics.

I’d add a small qualifier to my null hypothesis. Modi will win again, but won’t repeat the 2014 numbers. This belief is based on many things as they stand today. The BJP on its own will not have the majority in Lok Sabha, but the NDA will be able to form the government.

All other factors and their impact remaining as they are, three factors could turn the tables in favour of Congress.

Factors That Might Work for Congress

If the Congress can manage the Herculean task of stitching a grand alliance with other parties, it can manage to give the BJP a tough fight.

We can divide those who voted for the BJP into two segments. The first group consists of diehard supporters who will vote for BJP in any situation. The second segment is that of the aspirational voter who voted thinking that Modi would accelerate the techno-economic development of the country, that would generate jobs. The BJP’s vote share in 2014 was 31 percent. We can give any numbers we want to the two groups, but let’s put subjectively that they are 21 percent and 10 percent respectively.

It’s this second segment that is up for grabs now. There is anecdotal evidence to support this. Social media has been a little slow when it comes to joking about Rahul Gandhi and the Congress. On the other hand, we are witnessing the appearance of jokes and memes against the Modi government. I have also seen some statements on Facebook by BJP supporters, who remain committed to BJP but have been highly critical of Modi.

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Aspirational Voter Needs a Plan

This segment will be interested in a master plan for the entire country. One doubts whether the Congress would be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat but certainly it stands to gain by offering a plan that seems to address the woes of the people.

Remember, Sam Pitroda and Nandan Nilekani were both catalysts in Congress-led governments and the NDA does not have corresponding figures. Hence, the Congress will manage to make a dent shaving off perhaps another 15 seats from the BJP kitty, in metros like New Delhi, Mumbai and other big cities.

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A reduced majority for Modi, whose current first term is being criticised for its centralisation of authority, may have a sobering effect on the fringe elements. It may lead to a focussed approach on economic development and, well, that would be good for our country.

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(The writer is a software professional and can be reached @mahboob_h . This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)


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