Guest Column: Delhi Election: Kill the messenger, kill the research team

Time that we stop wasting monies or tweak the model used to gauge the mood of voters, says INTRADIA's Sanjeev Kotnala

e4m by Sanjeev Kotnala
Updated: Feb 11, 2015 8:50 AM
Guest Column: Delhi Election: Kill the messenger, kill the research team

The exploding, unanimous, lopsided, more than absolute majority win for AAP in Delhi state assembly election lead us to the old question. Is the Glass half full or half empty? Or what came first the hem or the egg? If you allow me, the question that remains unanswered are; what went right or what went wrong? What came first, the confidence in AAP or the anti-BJP sentiment?

I am not worried about the undercurrents at ground zero, which resulted in such a disruptive result.  Why did the Delhi voters not buy into crystal-clear image of Kiran Bedi? How could the possible concept of same party at centre and state did not lure them! How come this sudden almost last week surge led to this watershed moment for BJP?

Questions will remain. What we been seeing through our eyes comes from tinted glasses of media. We were banking on the information fed by them. The confident glib talkers featuring in the discussion, the smartly tweaked tweets, FB comments and polls. Managed by the spin-doctors and controlled by numerous stakeholders we were seeing a different picture. Delhi voters are not surprised. They had sensed the wave much earlier.

So, I come back to the issue. IS IT NOT THE FAILURE OF RESEARCH? Research has been unable to predict the changed realities at ground level.  We will never see these researches as part of credential presentation of the research agencies involved.  So instead of wasting national time and resources we must question logic of these researches. Will it not be a great if they are completely banned?

Maybe the module being followed is not capable of measuring tectonic shifts, which cause tsunami of confidence. This time not only the voting percentage is high but also the votes polled by the winning party are more than 50%.  They forgot that it is still the lower and middle class that decided the game and AAP 49 day Government for Delhi had done much more than the Modi sarkar in 8 months. The overplay of religious angle and getting an outsider all went against BJP. They were very numeric. It is time when both quantitative and qualitative research needs to play their role.

Maybe and I am using MAYBE, the way to predict seats on basis individual constituency win is unable to read the last minute effect of such ground zero swings.  All research went for a toss.  No one read Lok Sabha election for a 350 plus wins and today in a much smaller geographical area. No one saw this massacre coming. Whatever be the confidence limit and the standard of deviation, this one showed the inefficiency or the waste of research in elections. Till they get the systems right maybe the research guys should just zip-up after this product failure.

I am not sure what have we proven. Have we proved that we are not fascist or are not against basic civil & political freedom? We again proved we are a society of followers? And I need no research agency to tell me they can’t find the answer.

On the other side, Delhi voters have given the eternal crib boy ARVIND KEJRIWAL more than absolute majority. The problem for AAP starts now with no visible recognisable opposition.  Masses have unmanageable huge expectations and no Government has magic wands. Unfortunately, big majority when even a split do not damage there are no excuses THE REAL TEST STARTS NOW. What binds together is what destroys the bond. I hope AAP cadre has no opportunist winners. Soon, it will be time for the masks to come up or go down depending on who is the clown on stage.

MY HUMBLE RECOMMENDATION TO AAP: please disengage research teams and use the grass root connections to feel the real pulse. It will be the only weapon that will help win the small battles capable of causing great success. Rein in the national dream for some time. Invest in creating impact. No one is going anywhere and there is ample time for the 2019 MAHASANGRAM.

The author Sanjeev Kotnala is Founder and Head Catalyst at INTRADIA unconsult.

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