Karvy-IndiaToday: Opinion Poll Misused As A Propaganda Tool??

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

'69% prefer Modi as PM, 360 Seats for NDA in 2019" screamed the headlines of India Today Poll in collaboration with Karvy which was conducted across 19 states. Rahul Gandhi trailed 55 points behind Modi. Unfortunately, there are no takers for such ‘surveys’

There are many agencies masquerading as polling agencies and Karvy appears one among those who top the list. IndiaToday group do no favour for themselves as all that they succeed to do is to destroy their own credibility through commissioning such agencies and hyping their findings. 

Firstly, the survey comes at a time when the NDA is shrinking as a coalition. The oldest ally of the BJP, Shiv Sena has already announced splitting of ways with BJP. After Punjab polls, the Akali Dal is widely expected to do similarly. What are left of NDA apart from the BJP are mostly tiny obscure parties.

Secondly, while it is true that Modi proved himself as a vote catcher and Rahul Gandhi did not in 2014, two years and eight months later, we see the exact reverse happening. Modi is being greeted by empty chairs and crowds flocking Rahul Gandhi meeting in droves.

The first visible sign of public deserting Modi was Bahraich, UP last month where he went to address BJP’s Parivartan Rally, only to be greeted by a handful of crowd, less than a hundred. Rather than face this embarrassment face on, his chopper flew back to Lucknow after hovering above the venue for nearly 20 minutes. The official explanation was due to fog he was not able to land but IMD's satellite weather images debunk this claim. The fact was that Bahraich was having perfect weather on that day. 

Modi’s recent rallies in Jalandhar and Panaji addressed by a person no less than the Prime Minister of the nation, will cause even more plenty of heartburn in the BJP camps in general and the prime minister in particular.


In Jalandhar, Modi was drafted in to rescue the Akali-BJP campaign in Punjab as a star campaigner. However the Jalandhar seems in no mood in welcoming PM Modi as the turnout was quite low. The ultimate humiliation if media reports were to be believed was as soon as the PM started speaking, people from the crowd stood up and started walking. We can see the photos where there are empty chairs and very less crowd, very handful of people were there to listen PM.

Panaji, Goa was no different. A traditional bastion of the BJP, the city always elected Parrikar until he was elevated to Modi’s cabinet. Three quarters of the ground were empty as reported by the media including Indian Express – this is a state where BJP hopes to bounce back in power! The photos (see above) being widely shared from the venue of Modi’s rally showed plenty of empty chairs even after he had arrived to speak. The TV channels showed his speech, which lasted for 1 hour and 18 minutes, uninterrupted in full and yet there was no sign of cameras installed by BJP bothering to capture the sight of swelling crowd. In fact their cameras did not turn to crowd even once.

In contrast to 2014, Rahul Gandhi is pulling in mega crowds. Here are some of his campaign photographs from Punjab, Goa and UP

Fortunes and popularity of political parties and their leaders swing wildly from time to time. It may be possible by 2019, we could see Modi bouncing back and Rahul Gandhi declining in their respective popularity. But the role of opinion polls is to capture these changes in mood at a given point of time. However India media in cohorts with polling agencies are increasingly misusing and abusing polls as a tool for political propaganda – to brainwash the public. This is a tragedy for the entire psephology industry...

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