You can't help but be impressed with what Mayawati has pulled off in Uttar Pradesh, a clear majority in a state where people thought that clear majorities disappeared with the Babri Masjid. But, the question is how did everybody get their exit polls so spectacularly wrong?
One defense goes that some parties encourage their workers to be bullish in Exit Polls, but that does not really cut it. Everywhere else in the world, Exit Polls are more or less a proxy for the actual result, but everywhere else in the world they don't have so many voters over such a widespread area. Though I don't buy the defense, remember the time when UndieTV was still Star News, their Exit Polls were pretty much on the ball. Nowadays, everybody gets them wrong.
While I do not disagree with the concept of Exit Polls, I believe the amount of competition between channels has led to a pretty crazy situation where everybody is trying to trump everybody else. The problem is that the electorate has unerringly managed to trump every exit poll over the last few years.
I see one clear option, it is unpalatable to several channels, but I believe that there should be some sort of co-operation, I mean a joint Exit Poll between say most of the major channels. But you see since the editors are too busy having sex, I doubt that will ever happen. But it is an idea, right?
But, I hope sincerely that Mayawati can pick Uttar Pradesh out of the doldrums and put it back into the spotlight. The state has suffered from a decade and a half of coalition politics and according to the last available statistics had a horrible infant mortality rate of 85 deaths per 1000 births and the that is just one part, other statistics make for equally grim reading. UP, for most Delhi-ites is Noida, but UP is not Noida. UP is a lot more and I hope the state can become a lot more than just a place that provides us corrupt politicians and bureaucrats!