Richest constituency, Odisha and West Bengal low voter turnout, impressive show by Bollywood were the top news to watch in phase 4 of Lok Sabha Elections which were conducted on 29th of April. Phase 4 elections happened for 72 seats which include 9 states. Off the 9 states which went for polling, disappointment came from West Bengal, Odisha and Jammu & Kashmir which voter turnout lower than 2014 while other 6 states have seen higher voter turnout than 2014. West Bengal saw violence yet again with TMC supporters attacking Babul Supriyo the sitting MP from Asansol. This elections West Bengal saw violence in every phase which is really unfortunate.

State Seats 2019 2014
Uttar Pradesh 13 58.9 58.34
West Bengal 8 76.69 83.34
Jharkhand 3 64.41 57.39
Bihar 5 59.39 57.37
Madhya Pradesh 6 73.23 65.29
Maharashtra 17 55.9 55.84
Odisha 6 64.8 75.65
J&K 1 9.8 36.2
Rajasthan 13 67.96 64.37
Total 72 65.01 63.55

The above data shows the lower voter turnout in Bengal, Odisha and Jammu & Kashmir. Otherwise, we have excellent voter turnout in the states like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh assembly elections which happened in 2018 saw a very close finish with Congress just crossing the majority mark with support from other parties. This hasn’t gone well with the public and that could be one reason for high voter turnout in Madhya Pradesh which will benefit BJP.

In the same way, the Rajasthan also has got higher voter turnout which makes it a tight battle for BJP vs INC. Congress has nothing to lose here whereas BJP cannot afford to lose anything. BJP had swept  Rajasthan in 2014 but with Assembly elections defeat things were getting tough, but now with this higher voter turnout, this will be a close tight.

Aamir Khan and Kiran after casting vote.

Bihar got positive response with a 2% increase in voter turnout and BJP is expecting to retain all the 4 seats and win the extra seat to make it 5-5. Maharashtra is the big story of Phase 4. With not very much difference in the voting turnout, this could well turn out to be a cliff hanger. It can go anyways. One cannot predict which way the mood is and who comes out as a winner. It can happen that BJP+Shiva Sena sweeps Maharashtra completely by winning at least 14-15 out of 17. But then things aren’t so easier, there are chances that Mumbai could hurt BJP with one or two shocks. South Mumbai could be the one. Many controversies also captured eyes of voters on the day of 4th phase. Both BJP and TMC politicians have gone to Election Commission complaining of intimidation and violence issues. The election commission is having a lot of work to do and is receiving complaints from multiple parties.

On a completely different note, if we look at the way Stock markets have reacted today sums up the story of the elections 2019 so far. Yesterday was Holiday on the context of elections in Mumbai, today the markets were open and even the stock market had many issues to start with. The global factors weren’t really positive for Nifty and so were domestics like the poor Quarter 4 results of top companies like Yes Bank and Hero hurt the markets badly. The top loser was Yes Bank which fell near to 29% on account of huge losses. Expectedly markets open with loses and went to the lows of 11,655. But the story of the day with respect to markets was the outstanding comeback rally which took markets back to 11,750 levels by the end of the day. What is market trying to communicate?

Definitely something positive for the markets. The market is able to see something that’s right for them to grow and that is a BJP victory. Is BJP inching closer towards the victory? Just three more phases are left, 373 seats have been polled of 543 seats. Though the 373 seats would’ve given the result and the way the tide is going, the next 3 phases are equally important. Reason being in the available 170 seats most of the seats are held by BJP and they come from the states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal and others.