The results of the Gujarat polls are still a little while away, but one outcome can be safely predicted. The winner will not be the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), although it will form the next government in all likelihood.
No, this is not a typo, nor have I taken leave of my senses. The state Assembly election is, in effect, a referendum on its chief minister of the last decade, Narendra Modi, that he is most likely to win.
The usual disclaimer to such statements is "barring unforeseen events", but in this fortnight of elections, no such occurrences seem to be looming on the horizon.
The claim that this is a referendum is supported by two extremely reliable sources. The first is Modi himself. He said in a meeting in Veraval on December 1 that this contest is between the Congress and him, not the BJP.
Nobody has since challenged this.
Image: Narendra Modi, center, greets his supporters after casting his vote in the second phase of the state assembly elections in Ahmadabad, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. (AP)
Text: Business Standard