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April 14, 2004's expert panel and its battery of reporters across the country answer readers' poll queries:

Tanu, Lucknow

What is the role of glamour in political parties?


Answer: Dear Tanu, glamour plays the same role in political parties that it plays any place else -- launch of a product, a corporate party, a marriage, even a sporting event. Glamour creates a buzz around an event. Since politicians can't create this buzz on their own, they need glamourous actors and actresses. It is sad in some part but nevertheless just a reflection of the society we are living in.


Pawan, Nagpur

What are the chances of the BJP in Vidharbha? How many seats will they win?


Answer: Dear Pawan, in the 1999 election the Sena-BJP alliance benefited from the split in the Congress votes, which was reflected in the number of seats they won in Vidarbha. Since this time the Congress has entered into an alliance with the NCP, they stand a good chance of reclaiming their pre-eminent position in the region. I will not speak in terms of who will win how many seats in Vidarbha because the last I visited that region was almost a month back and things change rapidly in electoral politics. What I can tell you is that the advantage in Vidarbha is now with the Congress-NCP.


Chandran, Bangkok

When is the election??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!your web page does NOT mention it!!!!!!!!!!!


Answer: Dear Chandran, please check the voting schedule in the interactive map on our election page --


The polling will take place in four phases -- April 20, April 26, May 5 and May 10. Counting of votes is scheduled for May 13.


Satyawal, Bangalore

Is Advani and BJP doing the right thing on commenting individuals?


Answer: In my personal opinion, Satyawal, they are wasting their time. Let the people decide if they want Sonia Gandhi as their prime minister. Advani, BJP and everybody else should talk about issues that concern people -- water, roads, health, education, security, poverty alleviation.


Rajesh, Princeton, NJ

I'm an Indian citizen living in the US. Can I vote in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election? If yes, then how?


Answer: Dear Rajesh, you will have visit your constituency, get yourself duly registered as a voter (if you have not done that already) and visit the assigned polling booth on the assigned polling day to vote. That is the only way you can vote.


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Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: Chances of BJP-SS in Vidarbha

BJP - SS combine will get atleast 7 seats in Vidarbha.

Posted by A.V.GOKHALE


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