Modi's Rahul And Kejriwal Costs
I have a feeling Rahul might cost 100 seats to Modi, and Kejriwal another 20-30.
If the BJP gets 150 or 200 seats, and the Congress gets 100, then you have to deduct those 100 seats from the BJP's tally, because the chances of Rahul throwing his weight behind Modi are pretty much nil, and you know he is not going to stay neutral. Rahul has been an explicit Nitish fan.
It is being said Kejriwal is going to run for the same seat in UP that Modi might run from: Varanasi. The last time Kejriwal ran against a political heavyweight, the then Delhi Chief Minister, he won.
Kejriwal could spoil things for Modi and the BJP, or the AAP could emerge the largest among the non-Congress, non-BJP parties, in which case you just might be looking at Kejriwal becoming Prime Minister.
On the other hand, Kejriwal has that Modi quality of people wanting to run away from him. So he might be better off throwing his weight behind someone like Nitish. Nitish' tally is not going to be just the tally of the JD(U). His tally is first going to be the tally of the Janata Parivar, the biggest segment of the Third Front, which collectively is going to be bigger than Mamata or Jayalalita or Mayawati, and all of them together are going to be bigger than AAP, or the Congress, for that matter.
I have never heard Kejriwal badmouth Nitish. Obviously Kejriwal does not think Nitish is corrupt. Just like Rahul, he might also be a Nitish fan.
India today still is overwhelmingly a country of the rural poor. And there Modi is clueless, but Nitish has done amazing work. What is amazing is Nitish has managed to outdo Gujrat in growth rates. A poor, landlocked, agricultural state has outperformed a rich, coastal, industrial state. So if the issue is development, like Modi says it is, Nitish has a better track record.
I don't think of Modi as a corrupt individual. He has no family. He does not have a fat bank account. But what Kejriwal has been hinting at is the corporate contributions the BJP takes to do political work and then to bring corporate friendly policies. It is like, Manmohan Singh is not individually corrupt, but he seems to have presided over a cabinet that has been corrupt. So is it enough that he himself has not been corrupt?
I see Nitish winning at least 20 of Bihar's 40 seats. His approval rating is past 60%. That has got to translate into votes.