The first few rounds of voting has finished and voters in more than 100 constituencies have expressed their loyalties in the EVMs. In areas which were polarized and the areas which were in news for the wrong reasons, the voting percentage was quite high. The next big round of voting is going to happen soon and different parties are going to look at this phase with different expectations.
For the Congress, it is all about limiting the damage and retaining some respect. The Congress Party is hoping to win 114+ seats to maintain its credibility. But many in the Congress Party too would not believe that Congress could touch the figure of 115. The Congress is in free fall in most of the states and the only states where Congress has the chance to win a substantial tally are Kerala, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam and Punjab.
In Kerala, the Opinion Polls suggest that Congress has the edge but the Left is not too far behind. The Left front’s campaign has picked momentum and many believe it may have equalled the Congress, or have gone ahead. But the state has already voted and 16th May will tell the final result.
In Telangana, Congress has an electoral plank to fight election on. It will portray the state as a gift from Sonia Gandhi and will try to gain on the emotional pitch of Telangana. But, with the TRS disagreeing to have an alliance with Congress, Congress may not be able to clean sweep the state. The BJP – TDP alliance too would be in a good position in Telangana and could win a couple of seats.
Karnataka is a tricky issue for seat predictions. In the recent Assembly Elections, the Congress won impressively and the BJP was wounded fiercely. This state has a history of voting against the wave in the rest of the Country. After winning the Assembly elections, the Congress would have planned to win 20 plus seats in Karnataka. But BJP played smart and today is in a position to win more seats than Congress. With the reinductment of Lingayat strongman, B S Yeddyurappa, the BJP has gained in the state and with the Modi wave, the BJP is expected to be in double figures. But the Congress can still expect to win a respected tally.
In Maharashtra, the NCP-Cong alliance is in sharp decline and the NDA can win majority of the seats in Maharashtra. With Raju Shetty joining the NDA and MNS not fielding candidates against BJP, the UPA’s tally would certainly fall. But the fall is considered to be steeper with the NCP than the Congress. The Congress hopes to win due to MNS cutting in the BJP-SS Yuti vote and if it wins 10 seats, it would consider it has done a very good job.
In Assam the Congress is in a good position due to popularity of its CM Tarun Gogoi and due to absence of unity in the opposition. The failure of BJP to have an alliance with AGP will benefit the Congress, but BJP has gained ground in Assam and has a good chance of retaining and expanding its earlier tally of 4 Seats. Still, the Congress, for a change, would be in poll position in Assam.
Punjan is in a similar state as it was before the 2012 Assembly elections. No one can predict whether BJP-Akali Dal will win more seats or Congress. Opinion polls are also divided on this issue. But with senior leaders in the fray, Punjab Congress cadre has shown enthusiasm and the fight in this state is too close and can tilt either way.
In rest of the states, Congress is looking at a rout and may lose its dominance in terms of seats won.
Mission 114 plus would be tough for Congress and it would not surprise many if Congress wins less than 100 seats.