BJP India Opposition Set to Win State Elections Before 2014 Vote

BJP India Opposition Set to Win State Elections Before 2014 Vote

India’s main opposition party is set to win four of five state elections held over the past month, wresting power from the ruling Congress party in one area and giving it momentum ahead of national voting next year. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which picked Narendra Modi as its choice for prime minister, is set to retain two states, take power from Congress in another and win the most seats in the capital New Delhi, according to an exit poll yesterday conducted by C-Voter and broadcast on the Times Now television channel. Official vote counting in the states, home to about a sixth of India’s 1.2 billion people, will take place on Dec. 8.“The exit poll results indicate there is strong anger against Congress for its failure to check price rises and corruption,” said Satish Misra, a political analyst at the Observer Research Foundation, a policy group based in New Delhi. “It seems this trend will be reflected in the general elections, and the BJP will have some edge over Congress.”

The state elections are the final test for India’s two major parties before a national vote that must be held by May 2014. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led coalition has seen corruption scandals, elevated consumer inflation and the weakest economic growth in a decade erode its popularity.

BJP victories in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and New Delhi may boost Indian stocks, according to Deven Choksey, managing director of Mumbai-based K.R. Choksey Shares & Securities Pvt. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which has climbed 6.6 percent this year, fell 0.7 percent in Mumbai yesterday.

BJP Leads in Delhi

“The turnout in Delhi means a big victory margin for the BJP,” Choksey said. “A victory in Delhi will be the trump card for the BJP in the 2014 national elections.”

In a setback for Congress, the exit poll shows the Hindu nationalist BJP gaining its highest seat tally since 1993 in New Delhi while falling short of a majority. The BJP will have 31 of the capital’s 70 seats, with the incumbent Congress taking 24. The Aam Aadmi Party, which campaigned against corruption while contesting its first election, is poised to win 11 seats, the poll showed.

The BJP will take control of Rajasthan from Congress by winning 130 out of 200 seats, up from its current total of 78, according to the poll.

While Modi’s party will retain power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Congress is poised to gain seats from its current tallies, the poll showed. In Mizoram, a small state in India’s northeast ruled by Congress that also held elections, no results were given on Times Now television channel.

Modi

No margin of error or details of the poll methodology were given.

All the state elections had record voter turnout, the Hindustan Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

Modi, 63 and chief minister of Gujarat state in western India, is promoting his record of governance and stronger-than-average economic growth in the state he has ruled since 2001 in an attempt to propel his party to national power. Congress has been deploying Rahul Gandhi, a potential prime minister candidate, and his mother Sonia Gandhi, the party’s president, both members of a political dynasty that has ruled the country for more than half of the 66 years since independence.

The price of onions, a key ingredient in Indian cooking, has climbed 278 percent in the last year. Higher food prices eat into consumers’ disposable incomes and disproportionately impact the poor who make up about two thirds of India’s population.

India’s final full session of parliament before the general election begins today. The government has listed 38 bills for passage including one that would give a third of the seats in parliament to women. Singh said Dec. 3 the government is committed to passing legislation to create a new state in southern India.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew MacAskill in New Delhi at amacaskill@bloomberg.net; Bibhudatta Pradhan in New Delhi at bpradhan@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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