The latest Times Now - C-Voter survey should make Corporate India happy. While projections show that regional parties are set to emerge as kingmakers, and the threat of a fractured mandate looms, the NDA is making big strides, and is all set to overtake the Congress led UPA government which is staring at an embarrassing debacle.
A poll conducted by the Economic Times and Neilsen last month had showed that India Inc was decisively backing Narendra Modi as leader of the country, with only 7% of the 100 CEOs polled, putting their weight behind the incumbent Congress government. So, an NDA march is indeed, good news for India Inc.
This latest survey, conducted on a random sample of over 24,000 respondents, projects a hung parliament with 186 seats for the BJP led NDA combine, 117 seats for the ruling UPA alliance and a massive 240 seats for the "others" consisting of parties such as the BJD, RJD, YSR, AIADMK, SP, BSP etc. While that might send home claims about an NDA wave as such, the numbers, if looked at in context to the poll's findings in July, do suggest that Modi mania seems to be steadily gripping the nation.
The tally 3 months ago, stood at 156 for the NDA, 136 for the UPA and 251 for the "others". This demonstrates that while both the UPA as well as "others" have lost ground in since July, the NDA has gained 30 seats. What's more, the BJP, while strengthening its foothold in Modi's home state of Gujarat, is seen to be making good gains in states such as Rajasthan, and more importantly Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which are very important from the electoral perspective for their sheer size (Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats; Uttar Pradesh has 80 Lok Sabha seats).
Going forward, the NDA's count should improve further say experts. Modi is scripting big plans for Uttar Pradesh and Amit Shah, his closest confidant is steering the BJP's campaign in the state which contributes to 15% of the Lok Sabha's 543 elected MPs. Reports suggest Shah's rigorous campaign trail includes a plan to visit 52 of the state's Lok Sabha constituencies personally, while there has also been much speculation about which of the UP constituencies the Gujarat CM will choose to seek a mandate. The BJP is also reportedly leaving no stone unturned for its Kanpur rally day after tomorrow, where Modi is set to woo the Muslim vote bank, and preparations are already underway for a massive Lucknow rally in December.
India Inc has been staunchly batting for Modi, hoping he will replicate Gujarat's economic miracle on the national stage in the wake of plummeting growth, policy indecision and dwindling investor confidence. Their disenchantment with the Congress has conceivably increased, also because of Rahul Gandhi's vocal pro-welfare stance and near silence on economic issues. Gandhi hasn't said very much about what he proposes to do to lift India out of the current crisis, and his single appearance before industry hasn't been too fruitful either.
The other big worry has been of a fragile third front, cobbled up with several motley groups, staking claim to government. With this survey showing that the sway of both the Congress led UPA as well as the so called third front is gradually receding, even as Modi steps up his pace, corporate India must be breathing light.
But as they say, a day in politics is a long time. And there is still 6 months to go before the elections.