Friday, May 1, 2009


NDTV has now turned to bookies to help it make projections of the poll results. After completion of phase 3 of polling on April 30, 2009, the channel has given the Congress as many as 171 seats, up six from the figure it had projected after phase 2, while the BJP is shown languishing as many as 43 seats behind it with a tally of 128. And how has NDTV arrived at all these figures? By getting inputs from bookies, NDTV correspondents, "our analysis and the sixth sense of Dorab Sopariwala", says Prannoy Roy.

NDTV is giving the Congress even more seats than the 160 odd that the party itself feels it will get and a whopping 26 seats more than it had got in 2004. Of the states that voted in the third phase, contrary to most reports, NDTV sees the Congress making big gains in Madhya Pradesh with 13 seats, up nine. In Maharashtra too, the Congress-NCP alliance is seen doing remarkably well with 31 seats, of which the share of the Congress is 16, up three.

If all that the team at NDTV is saying is actually true it means that the Congress is heading for a handsome victory, virtually on its own steam. Had this "wave" of popularity been evident on ground, by now there would have been endless chat shows and debates on the channel and editorials in the Hindustan Times about how the nation is voting for youth and how Rahul Gandhi deserves all the credit for this upswing in the fortunes if the Congress, negating not only anti-incumbency that should have cost the Congress around 30-40 seats but actually winning 26 more. So, since he alone is responsible for effectively getting around 60 "additional" seats, he should be made PM!

Who will take the responsibility if the reverse happens when the results come out?

Watch the video. You will not fail to notice that neither Prannoy Roy nor any of the other panelists even whisper about this sharp upswing in the number of seats that the Congress is shown to be getting. Odd isn't it?


Polling for 85 seats that went to the polls in Phase 4 was completed today. Logically, NDTV should have been in a position to even more accurately pinpoint the exact number of seats that the Congress was going to get. Particularly since this was the phase in which the Congress was expected to make big gains. Although NDTV had shown the Congress sprinting ahead after phase 3 with 171 votes, others were a lot more circumspect and were, in fact of the view that it was the BJP that had gained ground in the first three phases and that it was crucial for the Congress to catch up in the fourth phase, particularly in Rajasthan. NDTV had already given it 16 seats, up 12, earlier and it was expected that based on ground reports, the channel would confirm today whether their assessment was right.

But, today, NDTV simply did not venture to make any prediction whatsoever about any of the states that went to the polls in Phase 4! But the consensus that seems to have emerged suddenly from nowhere across channels is that the BJP could well emerge as the single largest party and the NDA the largest poll alliance. MJ Akbar, in fact, went to the extent of saying on Headlines Today that there might be a substantial gap between the UPA and the NDA. Yogendra Yadav of CNN-IBN said it was too close to call while Arnab Goswami of Times Now spoke about the BJP getting around 150-160 seats.

Needless to add, there were some very unhappy faces in TV studios today. The Congress fizz that they had somehow generated and sustained for months, has just gone. Something stinks.

NDTV sees Congress steaming ahead after phase 2
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