Sanjay Jha Open Letter Disputes Prashant Kishor’s Analysis Of Lok Sabha Election Results

    Lok Sabha Election Results 2024: In a fiery open letter posted on Twitter, Sanjay Jha, author, political analyst, and former Congress spokesperson, has accused political strategist Prashant Kishor of misleading the public with “inaccurate” statements regarding India’s demographic and electoral landscape, in reference to the latter’s assertions regarding the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. Jha’s open letter, which he addressed directly to Kishor, refutes several points made by the strategist in a recent BBC News interview.

    The letter, posted on Jha’s official Twitter account, sparked significant online discussion.

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    ‘You Fail The Test’: Sanjay Jha On Prashant Kishor’s Demographics & Electoral Analysis

    Jha began his critique by addressing Kishor’s claim about the size of India’s Muslim population. “India’s Muslim population is 14%, but according to you, it is 18%,” Jha wrote, pointing out a significant 4% error. He emphasised the importance of accuracy, especially for someone with a background in psephology, and accused Kishor of professional negligence.

    “You fail the test. There is no margin of error, Mr Kishor when you are indulging in a serious conversation post a historic election that has reduced an authoritarian government to its knees,” he posted. 

    Jha then criticised Kishor’s analysis of the Congress party’s performance in the general elections. Kishor had reportedly downplayed the significance of the Congress’s 23% vote share, an increase from the previous elections. Jha argued that this rise was substantial given the reduced number of seats the Congress contested in comparison to 2014, calling Kishor’s omission of this context “a luminous distortion”.

    ‘You Lied’: Jha On ‘Free Vote-Bank’

    The letter further criticised Kishor’s assertion that Congress relies on a “free vote-bank of 20% minority votes”. Jha described this claim as “preposterous” and noted that minority communities in India often support various regional and national parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He argued that Kishor’s statement ignored the complex voting behaviours of different religious groups and failed to address the reasons behind minority apprehensions towards BJP’s politics.

    Jha also highlighted that the Congress won a significant number of seats in states with low Muslim populations, challenging Kishor’s implication that Congress’s success was predominantly due to minority votes.

    “Bottom-line: You lied. But why? Why did you not elaborate on the reasons why minorities are apprehensive and frightened of the hate-mongering and divisive politics of the BJP?” Jha noted. 

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    Sanjay Jha Challenges Prashant Kishor To Debate On National TV 

    In the latter part of his letter, Jha accused Kishor of harbouring personal ambitions that influenced his political strategies. He referred to Kishor’s past attempts to position the Trinamool Congress (TMC) as a national alternative to the Congress, which Jha claims was a failed endeavor. Jha suggested that Kishor’s hostility towards the Congress stemmed from his desire to replace it as the primary opposition force in Indian politics.

    Jha concluded his letter by openly challenging Kishor to a debate on national television, where he proposed to discuss the BJP’s loss of the Ayodhya parliamentary seat and the Congress’s unexpected victories in Manipur.

    For the unversed, Prashant Kishor had prior to the declaration the Lok Sabha verdict predicted a landslide victory for the ruling BJP, saying it would even increase its individual 2019 tally by getting more that 303 seats. After the counting of votes on June 4, however, it turned that out the BJP had been able to get only 240 seats on its own, falling short of the majority mark of 272. Together with all the allies, the NDA secured a majority with 293 seats, comfortably above the half-way mark. The BJP, however, is now forced to significantly share power with allies TDP and JDU, which got 16 and 12 seats, respectively.        

    Jha’s letter has garnered widespread attention on social media, with many users expressing support for his call for accountability and factual accuracy in political discourse, though many are disputing his assertions too.

    Prashant Kishor, meanwhile, is yet to respond to the letter, in which Jha also challenged him to debate with him on national television on the issues highlighted by him “and more”.

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