A headline Varun Gandhi will surely understand

In their weekly prognosis of which way the poll straws are blowing, the editors of Daily News & Analysis (DNA) estimate that Congress and BJP are now “neck and neck” following the collapse of the Congress’ ties with the PMK in Tamil Nadu, and the RJD in Bihar and Jharkhand. But the two main parties are still close to a 100 seats short of the 272-mark, paving the way for the smaller parties to obtain a stranglehold in the formation of the next government.

Significantly, this is the first independent survey that gives the BJP more seats than the Congress, after the BJP’s own internal survey. But after its defence of Varun Gandhi‘s verbal callisthenics, and its defiance of the Election Commission’s “advice” to not give him a ticket from Pilibhit, the question is moot: Has the BJP endeared itself to more voters nationally, or has it cheesed off more than a few?

Graphic: courtesy DNA

Also read: It’s a free world. You can believe any number.

Of course, predictions have gone wrong before

Arun Nehru: part I, part II, part III, part IV