CPI (M) polit bureau member Sitaram Yechury has an interesting take on opinion polls and pre-determined prime ministerial candidates.
The corporate media commissioned opinion polls already gave 275 plus seats for BJP. This reminds one of similar situation in 2004 when opinion polls predicted an encore for NDA on India shining slogan, Mr. Yechury said. When he disagreed with the opinion poll, the anchor even questioned him if he was not happy with India shining. Soon the results were out and UPA formed the government, he recalled.
Mr. Yechury was here as part of election campaign on behalf of CPI(M) candidates in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana on Tuesday. The media which records everything however never have a record of its opinion polls gone wrong, he quipped. Commenting on veracity of opinion and exit polls, he cited an anecdote when a man confessed to his wife that he stamped the wrong box in the ballot paper. However, the man would hastily add to confide in his wife that he made a correction in the exit poll interview. Now one could understand how dependable the predictions based on exit polls, he remarked.
On pre-poll alliances with the hope of forming next government, Mr. Yechury said coalition governments formed only after elections since 1977. Whether it was V.P.Singh led National front, Deve Gowda’s United Front, Vajpayee headed NDA or Manmohan Singh led UPA, the coalition governments took shape only after elections.
Even in 2014, coalition government would come into existence and the Prime Minister would be decided only after elections.
Mr. Yechury also cited instances of parties going to polls with pre-determined PM candidates tasting defeat. It happened with Ms. Indira Gandhi in 1977 and Mr. Vajpayee in 2004. Did any one believe Mr. Manmohan Singh will become Prime Minister in 2004, he asked.
Thus it is important to send leaders alternative to Congress and BJP to legislatures.
He exuded confidence that the Left parties will improve their tally in Lok Sabha with better results expected for the CPI (M) in Kerala and in West Bengal if people were allowed to reach polling booths freely, he said.