How bad is the UPA’s economic record?

The economic record of the United Progress Alliance (UPA) is a major election issue, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making the case that weak leadership and a welfarist ideology led the UPA to fritter away India's economic future. At a press conference earlier today, BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha posed 18 …

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Ground realities

In its recently released election manifesto, the Indian National Congress sought to take credit for passing the land acquisition act in August 2013: The seminal Right to
 Fair Compensation
 and Transparency in
 Land Acquisition,
 Rehabilitation and
 Resettlement Act,
 2013 - a key campaign
 promise of the
 Indian National Congress in 2009 - was enacted after …

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Why Modi may have a fight on his hands in Varanasi

It seems clear that Uttar Pradesh (UP) with its 80 Lok Sabha seats is the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) biggest bet in this election and that Narendra Modi is standing from Varanasi in order to boost the BJP's prospects across eastern UP. The BJP's man in UP Amit Shah certainly seems gung-ho: With a couple of …

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How opinion polls fared in the last two general elections

As more and more opinion polls hit the headlines, it's worth recalling how they fared in the two most recent general elections: 2004 2009 Note: The figures in parentheses under the NDA and UPA columns are the respective seat tallies of the BJP and Congress Party.

Should opinion polls be banned?

Despite my critique of their use of communal violence data, the India Today Group graciously invited me to participate in a panel discussion on opinion polling at the India Today Conclave 2014 on Saturday, Mar 8. I made the following points: Parliamentary seat projections should be treated with skepticism because there is no simple relationship between …

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Political parties’ Facebook activity

In response to my post on Political parties' Facebook "likes", Pragya Tiwari correctly pointed out that an additional flaw in that measure is the likelihood that parties and politicians purchase "likes", and that people "talking about this" might be a less manipulable figure. So here is some data (an evening's snapshot on Mar 1):

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