Kolkata: Quoting an anonymous WhatsApp post which is understood to have been sent by a self-proclaimed poll-pundit from within political circles, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today predicted a maximum of 200 seats for the BJP in the upcoming general elections.
Certain about a “poll debacle” for the BJP, Banerjee also prophesied a “worst case scenario” for the saffron party: that of around 135 seats.
Banerjee, while speaking to the media at the release of her party’s poll manifesto in Kolkata on Wednesday, worked out the poll math based on certain assumptions on the mood of the electorate in various parts of the country.
“These figures have been worked out by intelligent people who are closely following the country’s political developments, not me,” she said.
Banerjee predicted that BJP could struggle to get some 5-10 seats out the 193 seats which are up for grabs from the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, and West Bengal.
“Even during the Modi wave in 2014, the BJP could win just 21 seats of which 17 were in Karnataka. Now, Congress and JDS have allied in Karnataka with a total vote share of 56 percent. There is no Modi wave (now) and there are no allies in these states except ADMK. ADMK has split into two and may not win a single seat,” she read from the post in justification for her prediction.
In Uttar Pradesh, Banerjee calculated 20-25 seats for the BJP this time as opposed to the 71 seats it had won from the state in 2014. “The SP, BSP, and RLD have allied with a combined vote share of 44 percent, two percent more than Modi’s vote share in 2014,” she read.
Attributing Congress’s victory in the state elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh a few months back, Banerjee predicted no more than 30 out of the 60 seats on offer from these three states for the BJP.
Adding the above-stated figures, Banerjee agreed with the self-proclaimed poll-pundit’s inference that the BJP is “certainly not going to cross 65 seats” out of the 333 seats in the 11 states above. Of the remaining 207 seats, Modi needs to win 206 seats to reach the magic figure of 271 to form the government. “Is that even possible?” she asked.
“If you analyse the balance number of seats, Modi may get 135 seats (best case scenario) and 70 seats (worst case scenario),” Banerjee quoted from her post to reach the figure of 200 seats (135 seats + 65 seats) as the best possible result that BJP can have in the upcoming polls. Adding the previously deduced 65 seats to the worst case scenario of 70 seats, Mamata predicted the flipside for Modi at around 135 seats.
The Trinamool supremo, however, made no comment on whether this math took into account the BJP’s perceptible gains and inroads in regions where it posted unremarkable results in 2014, her own turf Bengal being widely seen as one of those areas.