Modi waving at the audience
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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It’s not a foregone conclusion who the next Prime Minister will be given there are plenty of voters who could ensure it isn’t Narendra Modi.

Till a few months ago, the answer was obvious. But now, as one does the electoral math, the choices open up. Let’s go through the various possibilities – each of which could happen, and each has distinct implications for India’s and our economic future. The number of seats the BJP gets in the next election will determine who becomes the next Prime Minister.

Scenario 1: BJP gets more than 230 seats

Narendra Modi will continue as Prime Minister because with existing allies, NDA will have a majority. Even though there are noises from some of its alliance partners, they will all fall in line before the election. The PM’s clout over the coalition partners will be largely determined by how close BJP gets to its 2014 figure of 282. BJP has to make the next election close to a wave election if it has to ensure a repeat of the 2014 mandate.

Scenario 2: BJP gets 200-230 seats

In this scenario, there will probably be a leadership tussle within the BJP and the next PM could be a person other than Modi. This will primarily happen because many of the regional parties outside of the NDA whose support will be required for forming a government will perhaps want a new leader since (a) they will want greater control of the ministries they run, and (b) they will want to show their own voters that they could not possibly be fighting with a Modi-led BJP and support him at the same time. It would be devastating for them politically.

This is similar to the 2009 scenario in reverse. In 2009, Congress had got 206 seats and put together a coalition government with many regional parties.

Scenario 3: BJP gets less than 200 and Congress leads a coalition government

In this scenario, Rahul Gandhi will be the next Prime Minister. Since BJP + Congress tend to get about 330 seats in total, BJP less than 200 will mean Congress closer to 130. This is somewhat like the 2004 scenario, where Congress had got 145 seats and formed the UPA with a multitude of smaller parties. BJP will find it very hard to get the necessary numbers because it is the dominant party in India and it will need the support of too many regional parties which is unlikely to happen. The key determinants here will be Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, and the post-election decisions made by DMK and TMC, which will each have about 30-35 seats and thus a formidable aggregate of 60-70 seats between them.

Scenario 4: BJP gets less than 200 and Congress is unable to form a coalition government

This will take us to 1996, and it is anyone’s chair for a few years. In 1996, regional parties refused to support the BJP which had emerged as the largest party. If the regional parties decline to support either of the two large national parties to lead a coalition government, they will need to decide if 15-20 of them can come together and lead a coalition with outside support from BJP or Congress.

In 2009, there was talk of Congress governing forever as the BJP tally had slid to 116 seats. In 2014, there was similar talk of the BJP governing forever with the Congress at 44 seats. What recent surveys have shown is that there is general dissatisfaction among enough number of people to open the next election. It is still the BJP’s game to lose – but anti-incumbency has been at the heart of Indian voting patterns.

Scenario 5: A national youth movement opens up the leadership game completely

A fifth interesting option can open up if a new national movement led by the youth wanting rapid change comes to life. What Indian voters need is a new set of ideas. With a restless young population wanting new opportunities, a faster track to prosperity and speedier improvements in governance, conventional policy actions will not satisfy the aspirations of voters in India. These are perhaps the ideal conditions for a startup to disrupt the political landscape. WhatsApp and Facebook now have a reach of more than half the Indian voters and at least one person in every family. If they reach the conclusion that none of the main political parties are likely to meet their rising expectations, then new ideas, memes and leaders can spread rapidly.

How does India vote?

For further evidence, see how the 100 crore voters in India stack up. About a third are diehard supporters of the various parties – 17 crore for BJP, 8 crore for Congress and 8 crore for various regional parties. A third – about 33 crore – are not going out to vote. What if something can persuade them to go and vote? They are not loyalists of any existing party. The rest of the voters – again, about a third (33 crore) – are either undecided or tend to vote for smaller parties and independent candidates with no hope of winning.

These 67 crore unaligned voters hold the key to the next election. They are 4 times the support base of the BJP and 8 times that of the Congress.

This is why I believe that the next election is much more open than anyone thinks.

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57 Comments Share Your Views


  1. No, he shouldn’t. Not because of I am an Anti BJP. Unless Modi doesn’t change his ground level worker and their mind set, he shouldn’t come to power. I have voted for BJP in 2014, but it’s enough. Well, Rahul is also nothing compared to Modi, but if BJP comes to power our education sector and R&D sector will go from Bad to worse. Because in Modi Govt. no one is a qualified politicians. Most of the MLAs and MPs are babas. At least if someone claims he/she is educated, then they won’t/shouldn’t vote for BJP. How can you vote for some illeteral people to rule you. Their thinking is limited compares to you, how can they give you a good economic growth, financial growth, academic growth. Modi himself can’t do it alone. Just for example,(smriti Irani as HRD minister), how can an actress be your Education minister, she should be given to a post related to her field. Arun jaitley, how can a lawyer decides the finance of a country. If you are an engineer, you can’t (at least you shouldn’t) go into an OT to do the surgery, which is a doctor’s job. This is the irony of this country. Everyone educate their child, but chose an illeteral junk to rule them. At least know their educational background before voting for them. If BJP comes to power again, the higher education , finance and economic sector will hit badly. To control these things they have to have that bent of mind which they clearly lacks.

  2. This is a valid analysis.

    The unconstitutional actions with aadhaar, the smokes and mirrors in the economic management of the country, and a net zero sum impact of the “minimum government” on the lives of citizens does indeed offer enormous opportunities for a successful campaign to throw the BJP out from power at the centre. Far too much public money is being wasted by this Executive in the name of “maximum governance”. Governance has come to mean money. It’s a vacuous ideology.

    The problem of course is that there don’t seem to be takers for this opportunity in our nation at this time. Each and every existing political party has the distinction of being a tamasha for significant fractions of the citizenry, not one of them has the absolute admiration of even a small chunk of the citizenry.

    What might the President of India do if a NOTA group emerges and succeeds in making the NOTA a majority in 60 parliamentary constituencies? Nominate someone to represent the NOTA as the Leader of Opposition, we should hope.

  3. Can’t see a reason why Modi won’t get a majority and Rahul would get even reasonably recent numbers. Modi is spot on the promise he made during the last election campaings, results on ground will only fructify in due course. Certain anarchist elements in the society used by out of job left leaning media houses can continue to put spaner in Modi’s work, how far it will impact voter preferences is very clear, rest all is kite flying

  4. Kindly read:
    If Modi is not coming as next PM.

    Congress will get wholehearted support from the Citizens especially from ….

    So,the Choice is not Modi’s or Modi Bakths,but of the sane patriotic Hindustani Citizens who care for the motherland…

  5. The analysis has its merits and demerits.
    But, obviously,Modi is not the reason for 70years of Back ward story of this great country.
    Honestly , speaking it is because of slavery minded Nehruvian lopsided policies,that this great Hibdustan still remaining as a mere imbecile India!!!
    Again , unfortunately,with tacit support by Nehru Clan, dishonest Communist elements sneaked in to our administration in a very big way,who never approved our country progress more than their ‘present’ Parent China!!!
    Any sensible citizen can understand the treacherous ways communists managed their political existence in our country.
    Two best examples of Communist spoiled places are Bengal and Keralam.
    How ever,of late Lefts’ significance is getting confined to ‘Ghettos’ of JNU…!!!

    If Modi is not coming as OM in 2019,nothing will happen to him other than few suits filed in some courts by anti-national elements like Teesta, Arundhati etc etc.
    But,one thing is for sure,this great nation will go to mad dogs!!!
    I am not telling this because of my appreciation of Modi and his team who are uncorrupted,but because of my study of world politics vis a vis international business since last five decades!!!
    Example are umpteen around us accross the globe.
    I am not against BJP or Congress coming to power at centre.
    But a weakened national parties situation will give away this great nation to mad leftists, like how it happened during Non-Congress rule sans BJP in 1990s and during UPA-2

    There are very good persons in Congress .,but they all were got sil nced by the mad sycophants of Nehru Clan.
    So,only if those rare good Congress men and women lockout the Nehru Clan and their anti-national sycophants from the party,Congress will get wholehearted support from the citizens he specifically from the senior citizens and the undecided voters who had a rather strength of 25percetage of the Voters of this country.

    As far as present NDA rule is concerned,it is better than Previous NDA governments and definitely far far better than Congress led Governments…
    So, naturally,the choice is not Modi’s or Modi Baths,but of the sane patriotic Hindustani Citizens who care fore the motherland and for his fellow brethen irrespective of caste,creed, language, religion and regions.
    One final sentence,There is no going back with stale ideologies and torn ‘Topis”, because entire International Politics had changed,the Grammar of politics of 1947 will not fit in to the Global changes happening unprecedentedly……….NOW.
    God bless all Hindustani patriotic citizens.

  6. Ur speculation is totally baseless! All the yungusters cropped up during last few months excluding Rahul fail to grow like a future leader of enlightened India. Just opposite to it some of them became the part time flag bearers of SC/ST and Hindu/Muslim.None of them could dare face Modi Magic ,the invincible deluge of patriotism!

  7. Height of ‘speculative journalism’ ! The writer should spend his time and energy in highlighting the thousands other things done admirably by people all over India. Dissecting the Parliament’s seats in different categories and creating multiple scenarios should be left for the ‘yellow journalists’ and not for the The Print.

  8. It will be a disaster for the country, if Modi has not returned to power, it will also amount to undoing all the good initiative taken by the current government, in addition anti Nation forces will gain more strength, which Pakistan is trying in partnership with few Congress leaders..

  9. It is better to have a honest government than corrupt and dis-honest govrnment eventhough people feel difficult times for certain decisions of honest government. I hope people in high places will understand aspirations of common man and fulfill the assuaranes made for them.

  10. Let’s know first who are these people, likes of Rajesh Jain, Shekhar Gupta etc. Try to find out why “the print” is designed for. You can better understand the technicality of the article. Simply they’re paid presstitutes. They should be ignored.

    Yes, they deserve to be ignored. But, we, the people of India can’t afford to ignore them; because they’re highly established gang, well connected with the power corridor of India, for last 70~80 year or even more. Financially they are very strong. If we ignore them, they will throw you out again like, “Dogs and Indians are not allowed” boards at entry. They have been trying to come back with more vigour to practice the same divide and rule policy, in coordination with breaking India forces, having fresh powerful ideas to destroy the Bharatiya Sabhyata. Let’s be doubly careful.

    For example: see the link.

  11. Bjp is defeatable and in 2004 too nobody could dream it to happen….
    This time right-wing agenda will be the reason for defeat.
    Because youth want affordable education and dignified jobs…
    Modi govt, in NCM has turned medical Education into a pvt industry.
    MIDDLE-CLASS wants a comfortable atmosphere but daily Tax/cess and Distrurbances due to fringe right-wing activists has made them Angry.
    Our money is unsafe even in banks… proved by Recent PNB loot by MODI neerav.
    Best of luck india…
    Get rid of this govt of Radicals,

  12. Chances of Rahul Dhongi becoming PM are less than Mamta or Akhilesh Yadav. Because both these people have more accomplishments than RaDhongi. This guy has zero knowledge of any subject, no intellect, no education, no experience….. It is like inviting Pataudi’s son to become Indian cricket world cup captain, or Gavaskar’s son to send as opening batsman. We need only Virat Kohli to lead the team. Same way, NaMo is the only qualified PM to lead the country for next eight years.

  13. Gone are those days when indians used to blindly believe media. The strategy employed by all these Bteam news outlets is to create/change the perception of public by publishing anti modi articles repackaged in multiple outlets… you can see this pattern in THE PRINT,THE SCROLL. THE QUINT etc. they hire an army of trolls to do their dirty bidding…

    ….Indian can see through your charade….

  14. India luckily got a PM in Modi, I mean real PM after generations. Young Indians should keep in mind that it is only Modi who stood up and can stand up to China, the only country (Pakistan I won’t even like to count) out for hurting India.

  15. India has yet to see the better qualities of this great son of India known as Narendra Modi.
    The destiny of the Indians is in his hands and never before India got such an honest Prime Minister.
    Please wait and watch and do give him another chance to lead the country to great perfection.

  16. Lot of wishful thinking. God save India if Corrupt Congress/ UPA forms the next government!
    Most people complaining about current government are so childish, do not really know how corrupt 2004 to 2014 was, nearly half a trillion dollars disappeared from India during that time! People who complain about secularism and use this as an excuse to point fingers at the present administration are probably one of receipt of the half a trillion dollars that was spirited out of the country during Congress UPA rule!

  17. If BJP doesn’t win the 2019 elections with sizable majority & Modi is not the PM it is curtains down for India forever. The Congress & its equally corrupt allies will be so emboldened they will f**k & bleed the nation dry. Investors, entrepreneurs, scientists & other high-tech professionals will flee & the nation will never recover from the assault of external & internal terrorists, anti-nationals & blood suckers.

    Watch out young Indians. Going by the 60 years of Congress rule precedents your future is a definite & total write off if Congress & its allies return to power. Hence, be careful with what you wish for & vote sensibly.

  18. A pretty simplistic & broad-based analysis as is evident from the enunciation of scenarios 1-4.However Ifind it implausible to believe that scenario 5 is going to pan out in such as condensed time & space continuum as is available till the forthcoming elections…
    Besides,what makes the predictions amateurish is the dubbing & fixating of the BJP support base as inviolable,a premise proved false by the recent electoral reverses in Rajasthan
    Underperformance, erosion of the “incorruptible” premise, communal polarization, erratic GDP growth, failure of almost every grand scheme like Make in India etc, pathetic FDI, poor ranking on global indices of innovation,growth,ease of business etc, defeatist foreign policy, reduced global standing, increased unemployment, regressive economic policies like demonetization & GST alongwith a middle class agnostic taxation pivot, a negligible focus on rural sector, healthcare, education,women’s empowerment, failed L&O apparatus, no let-up in terrorism, inflation spike, infrastructural lag,historical revisionism and episodes of alternate truth, cross-country cultural imposition, academic stifling & revisionism, judicial intervention & manipulation,lack of intellectual quorum & leadership succession, youth disenchantment and many more but what is of extreme importance and disrupting impact is a highly resurgent & transformed Congress…
    The country, cutting across religious, ethnic, socio-economic, linguistic, ideological,demographic,sexual and regional compartments is a restless entity, looking out for opportunities to grow,social equality inclusion & justice, an enhanced global standing,improved law & order situation, higher academic and employment reach, infrastructural enhancement, eradication of poverty,red tape and corruption and above all improved transparency and accountability, at a break neck speed…
    The BJP should understand that people have begun to accept the premise of the reasoning as to why right wing parties were out of power since Independence till the very recent times and that is that they are good at rhetoric and pathetic at realization…Simple speak, that they DO NOT know how to govern…This realization in itself is telling…
    You can fool some people all the time, and all the people for some time but you cannot fool all the people all the time…
    The coming elections may not see the end of the BJP,it may not even be the beginning of the end, but shall definitely be the end of the beginning of the end…

    • That was the gift to two princes, one was Jinnah (who got the first Muslim country in the world) and another one Nehru who with 20% minorities to rule over Hindus forever. Also called independence. A grand design to be ruled by post-independence Moghuls. Its high time for Hindus to unite to fight this evil design !! The Afghans and Shias understand injustice done to Hindus, but the problem with the local converts who are treated as a 3rd class Muslims in their own Muslim world.

  19. Undercover Congis, orphaned by the decline of Congress, are clutching at tje straws..and hallucinating the Modi will not come back in 2019. Tough days lie ahead for them.

  20. 1.If BJP is a majority party with lesser than required for forming governnent also, feeling is that TDP, DMK might support BJP. It’s quite likely that TDP & DMK might have 50 seats.
    2. Modi will chant honesty & clean government versus scams of past. A throat pitch compaign of Mudra is not really getting noticed under capitalism.
    3. A year to go, he may concentrate on deliverance at Hindi belt.
    4. In 2014 middle class voted BJP. Now BJP is just behind Poor, actually adopting Indiras tactics.
    5. Gujarat got exhausted by BJP, bcs of more than 25 years of rule. UP is promising. But again at Center a leader what people are looking.

  21. It is a lot of crap by someone paid to do a hatchet job by someone. There is no alternative to the BJP led NDA with Modi as leader for the next 20 years. Those who even think that a pappu can become the PM are pappus themselves of a lower denomination.

  22. I think the author left another important scenario in this article. If it is scenario #1 then I think India will see a mass migration which the world hasn’t seen before. Ask me why? – Because all the intellects and journalists with congress and left leanings will have pretty hard time back home and will have to pack their bags (with Mani Shankar Iyer being the sole exception as I believe they may have already applied for Asylum in Thy neighbour – Pakistan when he went to Litfest couple of days back). Everybody has become a journalist now a days so long as they can write either a piece of shit or hyped up articles with references to Modi. What a pathetic article…

  23. The scary thought !! Re-energized destruction every form of Hinduism, looting, and dalaali will start again. I am sure some are salivating at this thought !!

    • I agree yaar. Problem is, Millions of Hindus does not even realize this. And I am talking about the Middle and Richer classes here. I understand a voter who is fighting for his livelihood not giving much thought about his/her culture, his/her roots and everything.. but for some one who has spare time and leisure to think about these things but never doing so and going out and voting for congress/sp/tmc which are basically assisting all the institutions in the world which are hell bent destroying Hinduism and India .. it is these people that should feel ashamed .. they are too selfish and self centered and worried only about themselves that they dont give a damn about what happens to a Hindu boy in the middle of an open market in Delhi in broad day light .. nor they are worried about Hindu families whose shops are attached in Kolkata by Muslim thugs.. they care about only their homes, their tv serials, their movies, their sitcoms, their romantic getaways, their holidays .. and eventually when these Muslim thugs show up and threaten them with rape/murder they are the first to cry hell and eventually meekly convert .. I honestly think Hinduism is not going to survive beyond 2100

      • Have a clean thought.. We need to have good politicians who should rule this country honestly. Irrespective of the party.. Do we have any?

  24. In 1977, contrary to all expectations the Indian voter demonstrated maturity of discretion by reining in the really mighty Indira regime.

    I believe the electorate this time would show it is wise enough to sense that the current government is trying to undo the consequence of decades of misgovernence by the congress and that one term is not enough for this purpose.

    If large sections of the electorate vote with a selfish and a corrupt mindset in 2019, it would, in all likelihood, be the end of BJP rule at the center.

  25. Options are badly noted and they are not exhaustive. People after many decades started feeling proud of being Indian. Now India image of a corrupt country is shrinking. Government serving institutions are throwing the nature of corruption, harassment and extortion from public. Now citizen do not have to beg or depend on doles, the country under NDA is creating potential to earn themselves.

  26. Obviously modiji will be PM. People have seen 50 years of corrupt congress rule and will not vote for it. Though BJP seats will decrease to 230, courtesy vasundhra take, shiv Sena, it will certainly form the govt., as stated above ,with allies. Even if it falls to 200 seats, Modi will garner support from AIADMK, BJD etc.. Don’t underestimate Modi at all, he has many aces under his sleeve. He has done almost everything reqd., in these 3 and half years, and this being election year, he will do all he can except freebies. Parties win elections by freebies and midi wins by increasing taxes. Can’t one figure out the difference. He imposed demonetisation, and won UP with unprecedented 325 seats. In my opinion 4 months before elections, he will pass 2 or 3 child norm for population control, ban polygamy of muslims thru court, teach Pakistan a lesson and win ram Mandir suit in court. All these will make a windfall in votes and seats. Who hasn’t lost Gujarat, till date, how can u think of him losing parliamentary elections.

    • It is going to be a real challenge from what I see that happened in Gujarat. BJP was expecting 140- 150 seats out of 182 however ended up getting 99. Gujarat is pro BJP state yet this happened. Modi magic is wanning now after 4 years of little accomplishment. I expect 180 to 200 seats for BJP out of 545 and give 40-50 to supporting parties. max number will not cross 250 where 272 is required. It will be a nobody’s govt like atalji’s time where he stepped in and got the others joined in and created NDA for magic number however it is going to be difficult this time. Modi is no Atalji and there is certainly anti-modi environment in political circle. Not that I want Pappu to be the PM but he has created a major comeback type of environment and will get 100+ seats for congress.

    • When you said “rahul is better” … thats when you lost me !! I get BJP is totally feku and all ( you know the usual pro – congressi “secular” rant ).. but “rahul is better” …

  27. It will be either Mr Narendra Modi or Mr Rahul Gandhi. The other experiments have not worked, not even completed a term in office. The stunning victory in 2014 had two terms baked into it. If that does not come to pass, the economy will be the singular cause. A related issue will be the rise of intolerance. India wants and needs each government to succeed, for the national cost of a wasted mandate is forbiddingly high, especially for the young.

    • Rahul Gandhi taking on the role of PM is 50:50 even if scenario 3 is realised. The guy may choose to remain an ordinary MP to give himself the flexibility of overseas travel at his will without much scrutiny. The coalition partners may also push their own candidate, and that will make it more convenient for him. But in all scenarios, India stays where it is in terms of poverty, jobs, and air and water pollution. Only if Modi had been less professorial (too many words, jargon, acronyms while Ganga remains dirty), Rahul Gandhi more meritorious, Kejriwal more sincere, Mamta less strident, and Pawar less slippery!!!

  28. good and deep analysis and we pray to Bhagwan that Modi to not became PM again in 2019.
    he created a mess of the economy and made the lives of poor, farmers a hell
    he and his party and govt created a deep division between Hindus and Muslims
    Modi is giving free hand to RSS guys and other Hindu fundamentalists to give hate speeches
    and lynched Muslims in the name of cow rakshas

    • You are living in any kind of hallucination? Do you want corrupt congress people to be back and swindle the country all over again.
      At least there are no corruption charges on Modi. I do agree the economic situation could have been better than now.

      It needs serious improvement in terms providing employment, price control on products and services.
      Common man should find it easier to live with better comfort. This is what needs to be improved.

    • Whatever happens fine. But not this foolishman to become PM again. India is already 70 years backward to pre independence as most of the institutions are demolished. To bring institutionalisation we need visionary leaders. Anyone with average common sense is better than MODI.

      • nonsense.
        so much of greed of prev rule brough indian economy to this npa situation which is being fixed by a gutty brave modi only. no one else. simply forget rohuul, he is getting nowhere nearby

        • Good.Pray for Modiji’s return to power in 2019.A honest devoted brave should not be based on one’s own interest.selfishness.example not reducing income tax rate temporary suffering due to demonetesation etc.overall good.his own party men indulge in toppling him.Other cow lynching vetc are stage managed protest to defame him.we know if money is paid demonstrations can be arranged against government even wearing ruling party uniform.See padhmavathi film protest by BJP’s own supporters which has cost much to ruling party’.Money plays in politics more money injected more protest demons erc.Whatever Modiji does it is not the interest of the nation and common man.

    • Either you are dynasty worshiper or one whose pocket got hurt because of all Modi’s doing. Rahul and his corrupted family along with congress had only interest to continue the robbing and raping of India. did you know any agenda presented by congress thugs to handle the neighbor nations, terrorist issue, Kashmir problems, strengthen the Indian army and of course improve Indian economy and curb corruption. Have you ever heard in your dream Rahul or any other congress goons had talked about these issues. Only thing you heard from their foul mouth is what Modi did wrong. Watch ABP news to educate yourself. As long as people like you call themselves Indian, India has no chance to move forward.


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