Punjab may have a clear winner, Goa a split verdict: Expert

Psephologist Sandeep Shastri feels that there is no evidence to show that when a voter turn out is higher the ruling party will lose in this conversation with OneIndia

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Goa and Punjab have polled and in a month's time the winner would be clear. Both states saw a very high voter turn out and some pollsters say that this signals a change in the ruling government.

Women voters wait in a long queue at a polling station to cast their votes for Punjab Assembly elections at Badal village in Muktsar.

Sandeep Shastri, one of the country's leading psephologists (a branch of political science which deals with election analysis) says that there is no evidence to show that when a voter turn out is higher the ruling party will lose. Evidence only shows that a high voter turn out only means the people are keen on casting their mandate says Shastri in this conversation with OneIndia.

Who is winning Punjab:

"In Punjab the Shiromani Akali Dal seemed to be unpopular. However, that cannot be said about the BJP. Is the BJP going to be impacted by this factor or now? Time would tell," says Shastri.

"The keenness of a high turnout of voters is largely because of the presence of an alternative party in the elections. In Punjab, there is a good chance of a Delhi scenario repeating. There could have been a frustration towards conventional politics like was seen in Delhi when the people voted for AAP," he says.

"I, however feel that there are certain factors that may have hurt the AAP in Punjab. The one major issue is that there is no credible face for the party in Punjab who could lead the party. This could have led to the voter believing that the government may be remote controlled from Delhi, he adds.

"With regard to the chances of the Congress, yes it had its best chance in Punjab. However, the few factors that I see going against the party is in terms of its national image. It has taken a strong beating since 2014, and the party has not won a single election since then. The Congress has not pushed itself the extra mile and even if it wins, it would be a default win. However, one thing I would say is that Punjab would have a clear winner," Shashtri says.

Who is winning Goa:

"I feel that the party that has managed to beat the factionalism the most is the winner here. All parties have had its share of troubles. The party that has beaten factionalism is the winner here," he points out.

"The BJP has had its share of troubles. The key to the BJP's chances in Goa depends on how well it has handled these problems in the state. I feel that there is a good chance that Goa will see a split verdict. For the BJP the absence of (Defence Minister) Manohar Parrikar has hurt it the most. The BJP is likely to lose this state because of its strengthening of Delhi. Parrikar is returning to Delhi and there is no doubt about that. He is basically caught in a bind," Shastri signs off.

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