Electoral survey projects huge losses for Congress in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala, where it had got a good number of seats last time, good gains for BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and a reversal of fortunes in Rajasthan… The key to power at the Centre will be held by ‘Others’ mainly regional parties like AIADMK, SP, BSP, Left Front, Trinamool Congress, RJD, BJD, YSR Congress and TSR which are together expected to notch up a whopping 240 out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats…
Regional parties currently outside the ambit of both United Progressive Alliance and the National Democratic Alliance will hold the key to formation of the next Government at the Centre in 2014 with BJP-led alliance projected well ahead of the ruling UPA headed by Congress, an election survey has predicted. The study carried out by India TV-Times Now C Voter-Survey based on national representative sample of 24,284 randomly selected respondents between August 16 and October 15 projects huge losses for Congress in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala, where it had got a good number of seats last time, good gains for BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and a reversal of fortune in Rajasthan.
At a time when assembly elections in the four States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh are being touted as some sort of semi-finals for next general elections, the survey predicts huge reverses for Congress in the first three States with Chhattisgarh being the only silver lining for it. According to the survey, the NDA that includes BJP, Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, RPI (Athawale) NCP of Meghalaya and Haryana Janhit Congress, will get 186 seats, while UPA with its current allies is pegged at a very low number of 117 seats.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha, the ruling combine had got 259 seats, while the NDA had secured 159 seats. The allies of Congress, whose performance has been included in UPA this time are NCP, RLD, JMM, Muslim League, National Conference and Kerala Congress (Mani). The key to power at the Centre will be held by ‘Others’ mainly regional parties like AIADMK, SP, BSP, Left Front, Trinamool Congress, RJD, BJD, YSR Congress and TSR which are together expected to notch up a whopping 240 out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats. ‘Others’ also lead when it comes to getting the maximum vote share. While regional parties falling in this category are expected to corner 38 per cent of total votes, NDA is still way ahead of UPA with 35 per cent in comparison to 27 per cent of the latter, the survey says.
The difference between the number of seats of the Congress and the BJP further widens with the survey projecting Congress as winning a mere 102 seats and BJP getting 162 seats. Last time, Congress had won 206 seats and BJP 116. Hence, the Congress is losing almost 50 per cent of the seats it had won in 2009, while the BJP is improving its performance by around 40 per cent increase in seats, accrding to the survey. The Left Front leads the pack in ‘Others’ category by getting 32 seats followed by Mayawati’s BSP, which is projected to be getting 31. The BSP’s arch rival in Uttar Pradesh politics Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP has been given 25 seats, AIADMK of Jayalalithaa 28 and Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee 23. The survey has given Lalu Prasad’s RJD 14 seats indicating that
despite the sentence in fodder scam case, the maverick is not out of reckoning.
It has placed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD-U as getting only 9 seats, a projection which could be contested strongly by that party, which is hoping for a turn around after Kumar broke ties with BJP protesting against projection of Narendra Modi as its prime Ministerial candidate. In the last Lok Sabha election JD-U, which was then in alliance with BJP, had won 20 seats, while the latter had won 12 seats but with a better strike rate as it had contested lesser number of seats. As per the projection for Bihar, the BJP will now win 14 seats — same as the RJD. The State has a total of 40 seats. Despite the Telangana bait, Congress may not be a big gainer as the survey projects both YSR Congress and Telangana Rashtra Samiti cornering 13 seats each out of the total 42.
The survey projects Congress getting 7 seats in the State, where it had won a whopping 33 seats in last election. The survey has given N Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP eight seats.
Similarly Kerala Congress, hit by solar panel scam, is projected to get merely four seats, a huge downturn from 13 it had got in last Lok Sabha polls. The Left, which had won only four seats then, is projected to stage a comeback with 13 seats. In Uttar Pradesh, Congress which had won 22 seats last time, has been projected to be getting only 5 seats while BJP
has been shown as improving its tally from 10 seats in 2009 to 17 this time.
Regional parties BSP with 31 seats and SP with 25 seats, however, remain the major players. The survey data covers the period of four weeks before Narendra Modi’s declaration of BJP’s prime Ministerial candidate on September 13 and and four weeks after that. In Modi-ruled Gujarat, the survey gives BJP victory in 22 of the total 26 seats, seven more than what it had got last time, while Congress is projected to be losing 7 seats. Last time Congress had won 11 and this time the survey shows it winning only four.In West Bengal, Congress, which had won 6 seats in alliance with Trinamool Congress in 2009, is projected to get only 3 seats this time, while Mamata Banerjee’s party is set to improve its tally from 19 to 23 seats.
The Left Front is marginally improving its tally of 15 to 16 this time. In Congress-ruled Rajasthan, BJP appears staging a comeback, according to the survey. Congress, which had won 20 of the 25 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, is projected to get only 5 seats and BJP getting 19. That will be a role reversal if it happens as the BJP had last time gained only five seats. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is projected to be getting 23 seats, five more than what it had won in 2009, while Congress is shown as coming down from its tally of 11 seats to just six seatsThe survey predicts some gain for Congress in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh. In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Congress won just one seat and BJP secured the rest 10. This time BJP tally is projected to come down to 8 and Congress tally rising to 3.In party-ruled Delhi, Congress, which had won all 7 seats in 2009, is however, on a downturn as per the survey which gives it only 3 seats with the remaining four going to BJP.
In Punjab, SAD-BJP combine is projected to retain its hold by winning 9 of 13 seats and Congress bagging 4.In Karnataka, where Congress recently formed a Government, the survey gives 13 of total 28 seats to Congress and 12 to BJP. Another UPA ally, the Nationalist Congress Party could see its tally coming down inMaharashtra, falling from 8 to 6 seats. The Congress, which had won 16 seats in 2009 in Maharashtra, is projected to get 11 this time.