Haryana election: Small state, big surprise?
After a long run-up to the Haryana election in which it was predominantly seen as a no-contest election, and after multiple exit polls also indicated a sweeping BJP win, things have suddenly got really spiced up by the India Today-Axis My India exit poll. While all the other polls give BJP a thumping majority, this one gives Congress a fighting chance.
With the halfway mark in the Haryana assembly being 45, this polls suggests Congress could get 30-42 seats compared to BJP’s 32-44. According to it, compared to the Lok Sabha election Congress vote share has increased from 28.4% to 32% but what is more significant is that BJP vote share has sunk from 58% to 33%, a dramatic drop of 25 percentage points. If these figures hold, it is an anti-incumbency vote that has spoken loud at the ballot box.
Then the question will be whether the anti-incumbency has been triggered more by the caste factor or the economy. On the former front, one problem with the anti-BJP Jat consolidation theory is that the party had got this vote as recently as in the Lok Sabha election. But as far as the economy is concerned, the slowdown has become much more pronounced since May. Haryana has suffered job losses in the auto manufacturing sector. CMIE’s September data puts the state’s unemployment rate at 20.3%, comparing poorly to the national average of 8.18%. Even if nothing else worsened overnight maybe the sentiment did.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.