In a way, this itself has been a major leap for BJP and especially Narendra Modi. Opinion Polls conducted over the last several months have witnessed a gradual ascent in the projected number of seats the BJP led NDA is expected to win. With elections nearly three months away, the possibility of the Modi wave creating more ripples and BJP garnering more than 220 seats will not be a surprising event.
The other two striking aspects of most of the Opinion Polls are that there would be a major downslide in the number of seats that Congress is expected to win whereas regional parties would win a handsome number of seats. While the Congress tally as per most opinion polls is expect to be 100 less than the number of seats it won last time, the regional parties may end up winning more than 230 seats.
It is much likely that TDP, AIADMK and BJD would support the NDA after the polls
In this regard, the moot question that arises is whether NDA would eventually be able to reach the 273 mark. Incidentally one has to keep in mind that the NDA of today consists merely of BJP along with Akali Dal, Shiv Sena and Mumbai-based Republican Party of India. It does not contain many of the regional heavyweights like TDP, AIADMK, BJD, JD(U) or even the TMC. Each of them had one point or the other been part of the Vajpayee-led NDA Government. Particularly in case of TDP, AIADMK and BJD, the possibility of them supporting an NDA government at the centre in the aftermath of elections, remains very high. Their possible combined tally of nearly 50 seats may be good enough to see NDA pass through the 272+ mark.
Further, possibility of several independents, smaller parties which tend to generally side with the ruling regime, as well as Raj Thackeray's MNS giving support to Modi led NDA also remains a distinct possibility. With Nitish Kumar's JDU expected to get a major drubbing in the ensuing elections and with JDU expected to win no more than 4 seats in Bihar, one cannot completely rule out a reversal of Nitish Kumar's decision and possibility of JDU either entering into an alliance with BJP even before the elections or giving support to the new government at the centre from outside. A reunion of BJP and JDU may save the day for JDU in terms of a strong alliance for the next assemble elections in Bihar which might be a major challenge for JDU without BJP's support.
With elections almost three good months away, while it is expected that Modi led NDA would try its best to increase the BJP tally higher, calculations for sure have also started to find out who all are more probable to support the NDA regime.
It is highly unlikely that UPA would witness any reversal of its fortune in the next three months and even though it is expected to come up with an extremely populist budget next month, the possibility of that making any difference to the mood of the nation remains very bleak. On the contrary an extremely populist budget might just make the fiscal deficit fear higher leading to a crash of market further weakening of currency and resulting in more inflation, thereby making make things even more worse for the UPA.
Even though a possibility of a coalition government was never ruled out, if BJP ends up winning more than 220 seats, it would perhaps bring an era of a new kind of coalition government where the leading party would be strong enough to galvanise the rest around it.
As things stand today, it seems that the decision of BJP to declare Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate is paying the party rich dividends with the individual popularity of Modi playing the pivotal factor for galvanising votes for BJP. Even in southern states of India as well as Bengal in east, where BJP does not have that strong presence, Narendra Modi's individual popularity and as a preferred Prime Ministerial candidate has witnessed impressive surge. As things stand now, the momentum surely is with Modi and NDA.