16 December 2021

ICAI Elections 2021 : What to watch out for in Western Region Trends.. by Arun Giri

Elections are about 'conventional wisdoms', which hold true like theorems most times... but it is the exceptions that prove the rule. Which is what makes this round of ICAI elections a wee bit tricky to call/predict. Yet, as an election analyst, i can't resist the urge to do some forecasting... old die habits die hard... so here we go!

1. 'Dark Horse':
Mr. Umesh Sharma ran a door to door campaign that was straight from Ashok Chandak/Jaydeep Shah playbook. His campaign has on the surface, resonated with the voters.. the question is - Can Nagpur, Nashik & his home town Aurangabad deliver 1500 first preferences to him? If yes, he could be on track for 2800+ 1st pref. votes... which would keep him in the hunt for later stages. Anything below that and i would rate his chances 'dim'. Some of my friends believe Umesh could be the next Parag Raval or Zulfesh Shah... both started exceptionally strong in first preference counts, only to see their second preferences baskets empty... both went on to lose. 
My hunch - if Umesh is at 2800 1st pref votes, he may put up  a much better show than Parag or Zulfesh in second preferences. 

2. 'Wild Card' :
Remember tennis legend Boris Becker? As a 17 year old youngster, he needed a wild card to enter the main round of Wimbledon in 1985.. he went on to win the Championship.. the first wild card entry to do so!! This year's wild card is Mr. Piyush Chhajed.. he ran a campaign that may not have caught a lot of attention but my own sense is - if there is a big, big upset brewing it may come from the son of former ICAI President Late Shri S.P. Chhajed. He has picked up far more votes than most think... question is - can Piyush get to 2500+ 1st pref. votes? Not an easy call... but i surely see him at over 2000.  Could i be wrong? Ofcourse yes... i will still take this bet.

3. 'Friendly Fire' :
US & UK are natural allies, yet once in a while, they keep firing at each other in third country territory.. mostly on account of mistaken identity. Mr. Vishnu Agarwal's candidature has meant something similar for sitting Council member Mr. Dhiraj Khandelwal who is gunning for a third consecutive term. No one believes that both can win... no one believes that Dhiraj will bite the dust... which is why Vishnu should not lose hope. Can the former WIRC Chairman pull off a rabbit from the hat ? Ofcourse yes... chances - Unlikely. Here the odds favour Dhiraj... 

4. Battle of 'Deccan' :
There is a mini-election within the election... its players - Mr. Mangesh Kinare, Mr. Sushrut Chitale, Mr. C.V Chitale & Mr. Shriniwas Joshi. Conventional wisdom is - Joshi is in trouble due to a fierce campaign run by Mangesh ( who lost by 3 votes last time round ), popularity of Sushrut among younger voters and Mrs. Priti Savla's inroads on his home turf - Mulund/Ghatkopar. OF these 4, only 2 can make it... the only certainty - among Mangesh, Sushrut & Joshi, one will likely start weak... that elimination will tell us a lot... Can Pune lose its seat and Mangesh, Joshi both get in ? Given the low turnout in Pune, not an entirely implausible scenario... as of now, odds favour re-election of Mr. C.V. Chitale. 
In 2003 Central Council elections, which was the third term of former ICAI President Mr. Kamlesh VIkamsey, he faced his toughest test... with 3 sitting WIRC Chairmen contesting - Vipul Choksi, Mitil Chokshi & Atul Bheda. Conventional wisdom was that Kamlesh bhai would scrape through when 2 of them were eliminated... the final result - Mr. Vikamsey almost secured quota in first round! All the 3 Chairmen lost... Can Joshi, going for his final term, pull off a stunner? Chances - 50-50.

5. Can History be created with 2 Women winning?
The possibility of both the ladies from Mumbai, Ms Drushti Desai & Ms. Priti Savla winning ? More than 50%... both need over 2500 first preference votes.. my hunch is - one of them will be close to or over 3000... If both make it, will be the first time two women from any region will make it to Central Council! Sure, a proud moment.. 

6. Other Factors to Watch:
  • Second seat from Gujarat, will it be Purushottam Khandelwal (Ahmedabad) or Vishal Doshi ( Baroda) ... this one is a toss-up... 
  • Will Mr. Aniket Talati secure 4000 first preference votes? That'll be a record...
  • Will a sitting Council member lose? Conventional Wisdom says no, but keep an eye on the first count... there might be some surprises. 

Keep your seat belts on... this F1 race promises to be as exciting as the real one we witnessed over the weekend! We shall be back with more updates as counting starts in a few hours... 


  1. Ashwin sir, analysis based on Inside Edge drama - season three ... lets hope good persons will win

    1. Keep us informed about quota for RCM and CCM wirc election

  2. Anonymous10:01 AM

    Very Nice and informative analysis Sir!

  3. Anonymous10:08 AM

    What's about Surat seat. will surat loos its CCM seat?

    1. Anonymous6:20 PM

      Yes. feels like Surat will loose its seat. Will be interesting to see who will take the second seat from Gujarat after Aniket Talati.

  4. Anonymous10:53 AM

    no mention of SKP

  5. When we will get the first preference votes results

  6. Interesting reading Ashwin Bhai..

  7. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Looking at the Voting of 14000+ from Gujrat,Probably 3 seats from Gujrat

  8. Anonymous1:37 PM

    Sir - What are your views about the chances of Durgesh Kabra, SKP and Anil Bhandari?

  9. Appreciate the analysis. Good but would have loved it had it covered more of the candidates. But Arun is Arun one who lives and enjoys the curiosity he manufactures in others and the urge for more. ये दिल मांगे मोर.

  10. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Sir, I think Adukia Sir and Aniket Talati will be clear winner in first round

    1. Anonymous11:35 PM

      Adukiya is not in the race... AT will cross the quota in 1st round

    2. Anonymous12:05 PM

      dil mat todo Adukiaji ka and unke fans ka at least wait for counting , all candidates contested election are in hope of winiing

  11. Exciting to witness the counting

  12. Whether count of the first round will be available by this evening?

  13. Whether CCM and RCM counting is carried out simultaneously?

  14. Anonymous6:23 PM

    Who will achieve quota in the first round?
    Aniket Talati
    Sunil Patodia
    Dheeraj Khandelwal



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