Senior journalist and India Today consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai said in the Hindustan Times on March 2: “I am putting my neck on the line once again and forecasting a likely BJP win in Uttar Pradesh. In a seemingly ‘wave-less’ election where 403 constituencies are witnessing fierce competition almost everywhere, this may be a big call to make. But there is reason to believe that the lotus is poised to bloom in the country’s most politically prized state.”
This is another matter that Sardesai has himself claimed that he got it wrong in 1993 when he had predicted a “Ram Lalla wave.” However, the SP-BSP alliance won that time.
This is not an isolated remark. Other senior journalists too have thrown their weight behind the saffron brigade. “BJP win in UP elections to take Nifty past 9,000-9,100 “If the BJP were to win or show signs of making it past the poll day after tomorrow, I think that could be an event which takes the market beyond 9000 or even 9100,” said Udayan Mukherjee, Consulting Editor, CNBC-TV18, in an article.
There are several others trying to give it financial spin. Sensex hits 29,000 on expectations of a BJP win in UP
Besides the content of the remarks, the timing is suspicious as well. The remarks have started pouring in just a couple of days before the last leg of UP Assembly Elections 2017—the last phase of the polls Phase 7 ends on March 8.
Surely, the expert psephologists could have held their breath just a little bit longer. March 11—the counting day—is not very far away. What was the big hurry?
What has happened all of a sudden that has sent the media into a tizzy? Is it a deliberate attempt to influence the polls? Is the media—as it is its wont—bending over backwards to the political bosses? Coming as they do from people far away from the scene of the political battle.
Celebrity editors and super excited and boisterous anchors, apart from putting their neck on the line by predict a win for the BJP in UP, are also putting their journalistic credibility—little of which remains—on the line. This can be seen as nothing except a last-minute desperate attempt to unduly influence the Assembly Elections and is a strong indicator that the BJP is desperate and thinks that the ground beneath its feet has shifted.
There is no wave for any party or political leader, everyone knows that. it’s a typical wave-less election. However, efforts are being made to create a wave for the BJP where none exists. It all looks so motivated and fabricated, coming as it does in the last hours of the electoral process in India’s most politically significant state.
One also cannot help but feel a sense of déjà vu: it’s all so repetitive and in your face. The same tactics were applied during the Delhi and Bihar Assembly Elections as well. Team Modi approached the Bihar elections of 2015 in a similar vein. Previously, they did it in Delhi Assembly polls. There was a veritable carpet bombing of messages sent out through the media. However, it is another matter that BJP fared miserably in both the elections.
In UP, it is a closely fought three-cornered contest between SP–Congress (Akhilesh Yadav), BSP (Mayawati) and the BJP. But the other two have already been declared losers. In fact, the BSP is not even talked about. Reporters covering the dusty lanes of UP villages are themselves perplexed and giving out all sorts of signals. It is crystal clear—it’s going to be a neck and neck electoral battle.
However, the ace editors and glamorous anchors sitting in TV studios are unable to hear the cacophonous signal coming out and jumping the gun as usual.
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