How is it going in Bengal? Whats your take on the 5 Phases so far?
Hard to guess, Ramana-garu. This is, realistically speaking, BJP's first big election in the state where they are in contest in nearly every seat. The CPM is disintegrating big time and almost all the CPM's urban middle class vote is moving to the BJP. The Bengali middle class has made the decisive move to the BJP. There is, definitely, an undercurrent in favour of the BJP. Mamata is fighting with her back to the wall, and she has sent instructions to her cadres that there should be campaigning only on Hindu themes.
The BJP had ~17% of the vote in LS14. I think they have crossed the 30% vote now and are in the early 30%s [they have taken ~15% of the vote from the Congress, TMC and the CPM].
As for BJP, how many they will win is hard to say, but I would be surprised if they don't get to ~10, at least. The reason that it is so hard to predict the number of seats for the BJP is that a) There are a large number of voters who won't say anything, but are quietly voting the BJP. b) Nearly every second vote that the BJP is getting is a vote it is getting for the first time. This is incredibly hard to predict in terms of localisation.
But, as I said, BJP should definitely get ~10 seats. More than that is hard to say.
Personally, I am just as interested in the elections of three other states, viz - Kerala, Tamizh Nadu, and Telangana - apart from Bengal.
I am hearing of Hindu consolidation in favour of BJP in odd parts of Kerala and Southern TN - where one would not normally expect Hindu consolidation. By 2024, I won't be surprised if BJP has not moved into a strong position in S Travancore and S Malabar regions. And oddly, very very oddly, I am hearing of Hindu consolidation in far south of TN - Kanyakumari, Thirunelveli and Ramanathapuram in this election. And in Telangana, people are claiming that the Congress vote is collapsing.
Well, we will know soon.