Both Goa and Punjab recorded a very high voter turn-out in the assembly elections held on Saturday. Is this a sign that people want change? While many would indicate that, leading psephologist Dr Sandeep Shastri says that this is not always the case.
While many have said that the Aam Admi Party has a good chance in Punjab, Dr Shastri feels that there are certain factors that may have hurt the party’s prospects. In this interview with newsroompost.com, Dr Shastri says that there is a general belief in Punjab that if the AAP forms the government it may be remote controlled from Delhi as the party does have a credible face in the state.
Newsroompost.com: Both Goa and Punjab have recorded high voter turn outs. Is this is a sign of change?
Dr Sandeep Shastri, Psephologist: There is no evidence to show that when a voter turn-out is higher the ruling party will lose. Evidence only shows that a high voter turn-out only means the people are keen on casting their mandate.
Newsroompost.com: Who do you think is winning Punjab?
Dr Sandeep Shastri, Psephologist: In Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) seemed to be unpopular. However, that cannot be said about the BJP. Is the BJP going to be impacted by this factor or now, time would tell. The keenness of a high turn-out of voters is largely because of the presence of an alternative party in the elections. In Punjab there is a good chance of a Delhi scenario repeating. There could have been a frustration towards conventional politics like was seen in Delhi when the people voted for AAP.
Newsroompost.com: What are the factors that may hurt AAP in Punjab?
Dr Sandeep Shastri, Psephologist: The one major issue is that there is no credible face for the party in Punjab who could lead the party. This could have led to the voter believing that the government may be remote-controlled from Delhi.
Newsroompost.com: The Congress says its best chance is in Punjab. Do you agree?
Dr Sandeep Shastri, Psephologist: The few factors that I see going against the party is in terms of its national image. It has taken a strong beating since 2014 and the party has not won a single election since then. The Congress has not pushed itself the extra mile and even if it wins, it would be a default win.
Newsroompost.com: Will Punjab have a clear mandate?
Dr Sandeep Shastri, Psephologist: Yes it would.
Newsroompost.com: What about Goa?
Dr Sandeep Shastri, Psephologist: I feel that the party that has managed to beat the factionalism the most is the winner here. All parties have had its share of troubles. The party that has beaten factionalism is the winner here. The BJP has had its share of troubles. The key to the BJP’s chances in Goa depends on how well it has handled these problems in the state.
I feel that there is a good chance that Goa will see a split verdict.
For the BJP the absence of Manohar Parrikar has hurt it the most. BJP is likely to lose this state because of its strengthening of Delhi.