Home National “Fascinated”, Says Shashi Tharoor On Yogendra Yadav’s Election Prediction

“Fascinated”, Says Shashi Tharoor On Yogendra Yadav’s Election Prediction

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Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav’s prediction for the 2024 Lok Sabha election – fervent speculation over the result of which swings from a thumping third straight win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, to a shock upset by the INDIA bloc – caught Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s eye Thursday.

It also sparked gentle repartee between the two as Mr Yadav corrected Mr Tharoor.

Earlier, Mr Tharoor, bidding to become a four-term MP from Thiruvananthapuram, had hailed a forecast of 260-270 seats for the BJP and its National Democratic Alliance allies, which leaves it tantalisingly short of the majority of 272 and well below its ambitious 'abki baar, 400 paar‘ goal.

"Fascinating… Yogendra Yadav has revised his earlier estimates and now says the BJP will definitely fall short of 272. He tells Karan Thapar the BJP could go down to 250 but, if the undercurrent is strong (referring to anti-incumbency) it could even fall to 230," Mr Tharoor posted on X (formerly Twitter).

"Mr Yadav says he expects the rest of the NDA to win 35 to 40 seats. This means if the BJP were to fall as low as 230 it will not be able, even with support of the NDA, to reach the majority mark."

"Interesting times ahead" Mr Tharoor declared.

On Tuesday he took a dig of his own, saying he wondered if the BJP could win even 200 seats.

The "earlier estimated" Shashi Tharoor referred to was an interview last week in which Mr Yadav suggested it would be "impossible" for the BJP to cross the 300-seat mark as it did in 2019.

Thanks @ShashiTharoor for noticing what I say to Karan Thapar.
Actually, I have not revised anything. I’ve been saying all along that BJP won’t cross 272, is around 250 and can even fall below 230. There was some confusion as many friends saw my last video thru the eyes of… https://t.co/ZXJpmZnoB0

— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) May 30, 2024

In fact, he said, the BJP might not even cross the 260-mark on its own steam.

Mr Tharoor's tweet Thursday prompted a reply from Mr Yadav, who pointed out he has been maintaining the BJP will struggle to cross the 272-seat majority mark without outside support. "… have been saying all along BJP (will win) around 250 and could even fall below 230," he responded.

"As for NDA partners, let's not forget that half of their tally (about 20) may be from parties like TDP (ex-Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's party, an ally for his election)… who have no enduring relationship with the BJP beyond this election. Interesting times indeed!"

In Mr Tharoor's tweet the video showed Mr Yadav speaks to a TV channel, and he outlines two possible scenarios on counting day, when the results of the Lok Sabha election will be released.

"I think, in my assessment, there are two scenarios. In all probability I see the BJP loosing something like 50 seats over what it had last time (in 2019 the ruling party won 303 seats on its own)…"

"So something like 250, or possibly below, this time," Mr Yadav said.

"There is also another scenario, in which the undercurrent may be so strong, that the BJP posts much below that. But this is less likely. The most likely scenario is the BJP will get around 250."

Mr Yadav was quite a bit more optimistic about the Congress' score.

"Congress could reach triple figures… but we cannot be sure. It is likely to do much better than last time, when they had 52 (and 44 seats in the 2014 election). Something around 90-100 this time."

"But, in the other scenario, the Congress' score could go up to 120," Mr Yadav said.

NDTV Exclusive | Congress Chief’s Prediction For Party In Lok Sabha Polls

Earlier today Congress boss Mallikarjun Kharge told NDTV the party hopes to win 128 seats.

On the INDIA bloc's chances he was less cheery, giving them five to 15 fewer than 2019. "Something around 35-45 for INDIA… they were about 50 last time," the Swaraj India leader said.

The upshot is that this will be a tightly-fought election, with the BJP still holding the edge.

READ | 3 Possible Election Outcomes And How Markets Could React

Even if the saffron party were to finish a few seats short of majority (including the seats won by current allies), it is possible they could convince smaller regional/local parties to switch sides after the results and make up any potential shortfall in the majority stakes. This means the INDIA bloc will need to register a big win – potentially by 20-30 seats – to ensure it can run a stable government.

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