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April 17, 2004's expert panel and its battery of reporters across the country answer readers' poll queries:

jaya_prakash_reddy, kukatpally
who will win in this election babu or rajshekar reddy

Answer: More than a poll pundit it will take an astrologer to answer this one!

Srinivas, Los Angeles
Namaste Panditji ! How about TDP chances of wininning in Andhra Pradesh?

Answer: From far, it looks rosy. Whether it is all media hype, as his detractors say, will be known on May 13, the day of the counting.

When will congress come back to power in AP?

Answer: Again, this calls not for a poll pundit, but an astrologer.


Vanita, Mumbai
What is the educational qualification required to be elligible for the person standing in elections...Most of our ministers are illiterate they don't even know ABC of politics. Shouldn't we make a selection criteria on basis of educational qualifications to serve india better..

Answer:  Your point is well taken, but currently there are no minimum educational qualifications needed to become a people's representative.

Ramesh, Tezpur, Assam
Punditji, Is there any law which can prevent a convict from contesting? Isn't it ridiculous to allow them to contest while they are in prison serving term for criminal misconduct? Mockery of democracy, isn't it?

Answer: A candidate can be disqualified for criminal misconduct under many Indian laws - for instance, promoting enmity between groups -- but it does not take effect unless he has been convicted of the same. Conviction rates, we know, are not very high; a mere charge sheet or FIR does not disqualify a candidate from contesting an election.


Sanjeev, Delhi
Do you think CONgress with get 100 or more seats

Answer: Again, what is being sought is not informed opinion but a guesstimate, which is very difficult to provide.

Puneet, Kanpur
Will the issue regrading Sonia Gandhi's foreign Origin ...going to affect the poll prospects of Congress Party?

Answer: Barring among small pockets of voters, Sonia Gandhi's foreign origins is not expected to affect the Congress party's poll prospects. Of course, if the party fares as badly as everyone expects it to, it cannot all be blamed on her origin - there could be other, more valid reasons for it.


Ravi, Zurich
What do you think, is the political partie's selling point for this elections?

Answer: The BJP is selling development. The Congress party is selling dynasty and misgovernance by the ruling NDA. You can pick your choice.

B.V.Kumar, Bangalore
What do you think the election favour in the state of Karnataka.

Answer: The BJP is resurgent in Karnataka, and Chief Minister S M Krishna has a challenge on his hands.


Debasis, Los Angeles
If Vajpayee loses in the election, and BJP wins majority, who do you think will be PM ?

Answer: You mean, Vajpayee will lose from Lucknow. As of now it seems improbable, but then you never know. If what you outline comes true, any of these scenarios can happen: Vajpayee may be persuaded to contest from another seat, or move to the Rajya Sabha. Or, the BJP may even elect someone else as its parliamentary party leader.

Also Read: Line of succession already in place: Vajpayee


Sachin, Pune
Who pioneered opinion polls in India?When?

Answer: India Today magazine has for long run opinion polls. Their forecast of a Rajiv whirlwind in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, Devi Lal's return in Haryana - were all landmarks in the history of Indian psephology.

S.V. Suresh Babu, Bangalore
Sir, Why can't we have one system in each political party who can have rating on their different competent contestant of each constituency? For eg like in US

Answer: sorry, the question is not too clear. Can you please clarify? Thanks


Ameya, Madison, WI
I am indian residing in US. Can I vote online? I wish i can do that... Please guide...

Answer: No, it is not possible to vote online in Indian elections


Harsha, Hyderabad

Why does the press and the media waste so much of valuable time and space on something which interests not even 50% of the population and also about what happened in Lucknow isnt it shameful that BJP asks other political parties not to make it an election issue when itself makes every other incident an issue includin birth, habits,lifestyle of certain individuals.

Answer: Well, if as you say less than 50 percent of the population is interested in the elections, it is a tragedy since it is truly a privilege to have the vote.

Yes, it is shameful what happened in Lucknow over the sari distribution, and it is not fair on the BJP's part to ask for restraint from other political parties.

Also Read: EC asks UP govt to book Tandon
Is the Congress soft on Vajpayee?


N Rao Yammada, Hyderabad
Politicians with tens of crores of rupees personal wealth have declared in their nomination papers. Some are in Jail. Will the EC accept their Nominations and allow them to stand for election? if so,will it not amount to corrupt persons being sent as legislators?

Answer: Sorry, just who has filed his nomination from jail? Yes, the Election Commission scrutinizes the personal wealth declared by a candidate and if the information given by him turns out to be false he can be disqualified.

Also Read: Keep an eye on your candidate

Poll Pundit: Earlier answers

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