VK Ba­jaj fore­cast 291 seats for the BJP with an er­ror mar­gin of 14, and 340 for the NDA

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - BHAVNA VIJ-AURORA

When VK Ba­jaj’s To­day’s Chanakya came out with its exit poll re­sults, many snig­gered at the num­bers as pre­pos­ter­ous. The poll­ster had pre­dicted 291 seats for the BJP with a mar­gin of 14 seats, and 340 for the NDA – a fore­cast that has turned out to be true. Anu­radha Prasad of chan­nel News 24, who has been col­lab­o­rat­ing with Ba­jaj since 2009, said she was taken aback ini­tially by the exit poll. “We were go­ing live with the pre­dic­tions as they came in. Even we thought at the chan­nel that it seemed too much, but I chose to go ahead with it as I have al­ways taken him se­ri­ously,” Prasad told ET. He has been get­ting his num­bers right since 2009. To­day’s Chanakya was the only one that ac­cu­rately gauged the mood in Delhi dur­ing the De­cem­ber as­sem­bly polls, pre­dict­ing 31 seats for new­bie Aam Aadmi Party, which ended with 28.

Ba­jaj landed in Delhi af­ter hav­ing done his masters in in­ter­na­tional busi­ness man­age­ment. He joined as the chief ex­ec­u­tive of To­day’s Chanakya, the po­lit­i­cal anal­y­sis arm of RNB Re­search, and ven­tured into psephol­ogy with the 2004 elec­tions.

“He was try­ing to break into the league dom­i­nated by big names. No­body used to take him se­ri­ously,” said a poll­ster from a ri­val agency.

Now that he has been get­ting his pre­dic­tions right, there is a lot of in­ter­est in the method­ol­ogy he uses. “He never shares his method­ol­ogy,” said Prasad. “All we know is that his sam­ple base for the elec­tions this time was 40,000.”

His method­ol­ogy ap­par­ently com­prises faceto-face in­ter­views, pen-and­pa­per ques­tion­naires and “mys­tery shop­ping”, a tool usu­ally used in mar­ket re­search that does not re­veal to the re­spon­dent that he or she is be­ing in­ter­viewed for a poll.

Ba­jaj did not re­spond to an email from ET. He prefers to keep a low pro­file, said Prasad.

Ba­jaj has been get­ting his num­bers right since 2009. To­day’s Chanakya was the only one that ac­cu­rately gauged the mood in Delhi dur­ing the De­cem­ber state polls

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.