Why did Rahul Gandhi keep off campaigning in Gujarat till the last moment? Is it because the Congress has accepted defeat even before the actual polls? CNN-IBN's Ahmedabad bureau chief Meghdoot Sharon joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.
Q. If my guess is right, if Congress losses badly that will because of lack of organistion in Gujarat. If it makes some improvement in the tally it will be due to Rahul. Asked by: balaji
A. Yes, agreed.. if it loses badly, lack of a strong organisational set up will be responsible.. but if it fares better, not too sure if Rahul can take all the credit.. he's campaigned for the first time in the state today.. on the last day of campaigning for the first phase...
Q. How many seats would be considered a loss for Modi and BJP?.. Asked by: JK
A. The present tally is 121.. 121 would be considered a loss for the BJP
Q. Do you think congress win more than 50 seats. Why i am saying this because GPP can dent BJP in Saurashtra. Presence of BSP all over it may split so called secular benefiting BJP.? Asked by: katibettu
A. That's a possibility and every possibility can become a reality in an election.. But traditionally, Gujarat has always had a two-party structure... All the rest.. The NCP, BSP, SP or the JDU do not end up in double figures.. The GPP is no different from the BJP in ideology except that they want nothing to do with Modi.
Q. Has income of Gujarat increased exponentially that Modi can do all projects of infra-structure and other so called development projects without increasing debt on the state? If not than even I can build any number of roads and show the world how development works are done by me? How much debt the state have increased should also be highlighted...Modi just keep on spending as there is no one to question... Asked by: Gopal
A. The Congress keeps rattling off figures of the amount of increase in debt of the state government in the past decade... and rightly too.. unfortunately, very few people understand balance sheets.. for the common man, he's happy to get better roads, bridges and transportation...
Q. Narhari has lost last 4 elections? Asked by: shashiranjan
A. He's lost three in a row..
Q. What is the single most important issue with the voting class amongst the Gujaratis both for and against Modi and why?.. Asked by: JK
A. Price of goods and commodities..
Q. Why did Rahul Gandhi keep off campaigning in Gujarat till the last moment? Asked by: Ullas
A. I said this earlier Ullas.. That the Congress would rather not have this billed as a Rahul Vs Modi election.. Also, very consciously, the Congress is keeping away from making any personal attacks on Modi.. They know it works in his favour...
Q. Can the congress surprise? Asked by: pooja
A. Maybe it can...
Q. Is not there an undercurrent or wave to make Modi the PM? And the media not getting it? Asked by: shashiranjan
A. The PM of this country is chosen by voters from across the country... I'm not really sure what voters in other states feel about Modi, but every BJP worker and leader of Gujarat that I've spoken to wants him to be the PM of this country.
Q. Do you think with your research & presence in Gujarat, GPP will have much impact on this election? How much vote share they may get? Or do you agree with your opinion poll in Oct'12? Asked by: katibettu
A. The GPP, in my view is in a realistic position to win not more than 5 or 10 seats... But more importantly, it will do a great service to congress candidates by cutting into the BJP vote share.. especially in the very crucial saurashtra region of the state..
Q. I think congress is better placed this time. can it pull off a surprise? Asked by: pooja
A. Pooja,I can say with a lot of certainty that the Congress will end up adding to its present tally.. Will it cross the 91 mark? Looks difficult.
Q. My prediction is : BJP will get 130 seats, Congress will get 40 and GPP will get 10. What do you say? Asked by: Atir
A. Possible.. Very much possible.. Remember.. if he gets those many, it will be Modi's highest tally so far..
Q. Narendra Modi has not been tested on the national scene yet?..So it is unfair to even compare Rahul Gandhi with him..I think the acceptability of Rahul is far higher across India than Narendra Modi across India...Gujarat maybe be Modi's fiefdom but he needs to be acceptable nationwide.. Asked by: JK
A. Yes, pretty much in agreement with you.. a Modi supporter on a Gujarat street might think otherwise though..
Q. According to your research and experience. How much % of vote would BJP & Congress get ? (Just your personal view along with your stats)... Asked by: Ullas
A. Yes, this is my personal view.. I guess the BJP will get a majority.. but a reduced majority.. and i must admit that i must have got this wrong..
Q. Does Speech of Rahulji give any impact in this Elections. Asked by: sudheendra_sr
A. Not just Rahul, but even Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have not really raised the pitch to a crescendo level.. And it seems to be a well thought of strategy.
Q. Don't you think that the congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi,are no match to the charisma of Narendra Modi and that precisely is the reason for Rahul Gandhi to keep off the campaigning? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker
A. I think I just answered this.. But there's another way to look at it too.. Although he might not have stated it openly that he has PM ambitions, Modi still continues to be a BJP leader from Gujarat.. On the other hand, Ahmed Patel has already said that Rahul will lead the Congress into the 2014 election.
Q. Rahul Gandhi's campaigning in UP during its assembly elections could not produce any positive results for the Congress.Don't you think that has impacted Rahul Gandhi's decision to keep off from the campaigning in Gujarat? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker
A. Shyam, that was a nice one indeed...My personal feeling is that the Congress leadership still feels that the hugely billed Rahul Vs Modi contest is still not an even fight.. I guess Rahul needs a bit more time before it becomes a slug fest between equals..
Q. On the ground is there a real fear of Modi not being able to retain the 117 seats he won last time?..do you see people talking against him more than ever before?.. Asked by: JK
A. Yeah... and that 117 climbed up to 122 by the end of the term... Even if people are not openly talking against Modi, the manner in which he went about with ticket distribution does reflect a certain sense of desperation...
Q. One gets a feeling, that initially the Congress feels all is not lost and there is chance to do better than previous years, what do you think Asked by: Narayan
A. Putting numbers to a tally is always difficult, but I'll agree with you, Narayan, that the Congress sees this election as the best chance its got in the past decade.
Q. Congress doesn't have courage to face Modiji directly. Hence it is bringing it's top brass at last stage to safe guard it's face. Does you feel Congress had accepted it's defeat before Elections. Asked by: sudheendra_sr
A. Not many would stick their head out and predict a Congress win the elections.. Neither would I. But compared to 2002 and 2007, its a much keener contest this time..
Q. What will be the impact of parties like BSP? Asked by: sree
A. Sree, the BSP did not win a single seat in the past election.. Apart from the Cong and BJP, the only other parties that won seats were the NCP (3 seats as it had an alliance with the Cong) and the JDU which won one seat only.
Q. Do u expect Rahul to cut down Modi's votes? or will it be Keshu Bhai? Asked by: sarin
A. Sarin, the Congress and GPP (Keshubhai's party) are contesting against each other in several constituencies.. but these are basically friendly fights.. both have one common foe.. Modi.. So Rahul wont and can't afford to cut Keshubhai's votes.
Q. Is it because Gujarat congress had fear what ever seats they may be getting will be reduced moment our honorable Shri Rahul Gandhi speaks? Asked by: vinny
A. Vinny, I guess the Congress deliberately wants this not to be billed as Rahul Vs Modi.
Q. Who is Naresh Patel? I saw him being weighed with silver, on tv.. What is this megalomania? Asked by: ramu, california
A. Naresh Patel is a Saurashtra based industrialist and founder of the Khodal Dham trust that is constructing a huge temple in Rajkot district. He's perceived to have a sway over the leuva Patels and has obliquely asked them to vote against the BJP.
Q. How much difference would such a short campaigning by the PM. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi make?..What percentage of people get swayed by such short appearances of these leaders?.. Asked by: JK
A. True.. Modi has been addressing about eight or nine meetings on a daily basis.. beginning from the Vivekananda yatra.. the congress in comparison has done far too few.. but that's how it has been for decades now..
Q. For Modi strongest point is City and in 8 city like Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Bharuch & Mehsana i doubt anybody defeated him.. So For congress and Rahul why they didn't work in this area? Asked by: Atir
A. Yeah.. traditionally the BJP has done well in urban centres.. so the congress has focused on semi rural and rural areas for their star campaigning.. I guess that's the best short term strategy that they could have adopted.
Q. What'll be the impact of Narhari Amin crossing over? Asked by: prema
A. hi everybody.. thanks for joining in... Prema, Narhari Amin perhaps gets some management role in the Gujarat cricket association... it was his fiefdom for 20 years.. beyond that.. very little advantage for the BJP.. he's a spent force.. lost the past two elections..
Q. Gujarat is a forgone conclusion, there is no alternative to Modi, at least for the time being....neither in BJP nor in Congress, but if he does not campaign, he would be accused of running away. He know it will go the UP way. Asked by: eshwar
A. That's an opinion.. An many subscribe to it..
Q. Is Rahul gandhi a able leader or just a media glamour. Asked by: hasmukh
Q. What is this Khodal Dham? Who is likely to benefit because of this issue? Asked by: seshu
A. Its Khodal Dham... Maa Khodal is the presiding deity of the Leuva Patels, a very strong Patel community.
Q. You remember, you covered Gujarat elections 5 years back also...Even then Rahul was in Gujarat but could not make any impact.. What impact6 will he be able to make now? Asked by: parikh
A. The Congress, I feel is deliberately not wanting this to be a Modi Vs Rahul affair.. At least not 2012.
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