Ashutosh tacitly concedes AAP lost Punjab & Goa. But why lash out at opinion polls?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ashutosh one of the top leaders of AAP just tacitly conceded defeat in both Punjab and Goa. 

”Are opinion polls rigged in India, or are they done by those who have no expertise? It is a very uncomfortable question, but the time has come to ask it. It is a tough question for a person like me who spent two decades dissecting the political climate, especially during elections. 

Nothing can be more engrossing than discussing which political party has an edge over others and has a brighter chance of forming the government, who is the most popular leader likely to be Chief Minister or Prime Minister, what are the most important issues that can shape the result. 

There was a time when opinion polls were keenly awaited, the political class observed them keenly, and very few agencies were used to conduct polls. Some did go wrong, like in the mid-80s, when opinion polls predicted the defeat of Devi Lal who in fact returned victorious. Except the occasional criticism, though, nobody questioned their veracity. The same cannot be said today.”

 Read full article: HERE

The ballot box when opened often holds huge surprises as we winesed recently during the recent US Presidential elections when Donald Trump overcome all odds to chalk up in the end a very facile win over Hillary Clinton. So who knows? Even if it might be a long shot, AAP may still win either Goa or Punjab even if their ground feedback may tell them now that they have very little chance.

But that isn’t the main story. It is Ashutosh choosing to launch into a blistering attack on opinion polls who he blamed for marring AAP’s chances in both Goa and Punjab. 

The BJP in 2004 tried through pre polls to build up an atmosphere of invincibility and an impression of inevitability of their victory and yet bit dust. More recently, in Bihar the Mahagathbandhan was mostly given no chance by opinion polls to win, but nevertheless defeated pollsters to chalk up a landslide win. AAP themselves won Delhi defying pollster predictions. This illustrates that though polling agencies and media might be exactly as Ashutosh described them, they are no way an impediment when a political party or candidate have people on their side. They win or lose despite and inspite of opinion polls. Ashutosh’s outburst accordingly appears as one of sour grapes, whining in public, a trait AAP often demonstrates.  

There are many things Ashutosh described of Indian polling agencies which I in fact personally is in full agreement. Yet, AAP is perhaps the last political party who should complain of use, misuse and abuse of opinion polls, since they undoubtedly maximally use such polls as electoral propaganda. This is what Goa Herald in an editorial rightly commented:

“But AAP has lost the right to play this card in Goa. It has lost the right to dismiss an unfavourable opinion poll because of the manner in which it has embraced an earlier favourable one. If it wants to be received as a party with any degree of honesty, it should have the courage to treat all opinion polls equally- either go by them or dismiss them. You can’t swim with a favourable one and refuse to sink with the unfavourable."

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