In the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is likely emerge as the single largest party, with the BSP and the SP falling at second and third place.
According to an India Today-Axis Opinion Poll, the BJP is expected to win 170-183 seats in the 403-member assembly. However, the party must win at least 202 seats to form the government.
Mayawati’s Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) is projected to trail the BJP with a seat share in the range of 115-124. BSP’s prospects have taken a hit given the recent high profile exits. Following Swami Prasad Maurya’s exit, another leader RK Chaudhary had quit the BSP. After quitting the party, Chaudhary alleged that BSP supremo Mayawati had been giving tickets for money and now only rich businessmen can be seen in the party.
The incumbent Samajwadi Party is expected to win 94-103 seats in polls. A big reason for this was the fight between the Yadav clan which brought to the fore that all is not well between Akhilesh, Shivpal and Ramgopal. Given the recent spat it looks like everyone is pushing his own agenda depending on how Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam is disposed to it. Moreover, there has been continuous pull and counter-pull within the party and this has impacted the preparation of the party in the upcoming polls.
The Congress party, which has been vigorously campaigning in the state with its vice-president Rahul Gandhi conducting Kisan Yatra, is currently nowhere in the race. The Grand Old Party projected to secure only between 8 and 12 constituencies, poll results show.
The results are surprising as a similar study in August by polling agency CVoter suggested a close contest between the BJP and SP. Moreover, a CSDS opinion survey put the SP in the lead followed by the BJP.
What’s important this time for the BJP was that the survey was conducted before the surgical strikes. Experts believe that with the nationalist sentiment running high in the country, the BJP numbers could go up even more. So far the BJP is the only party that has not announced its CM candidate, and if the party chose Rajnath Singh as their candidate, then it could possibly results in further gains for the BJP.
When it comes to whom voters want to see as the state’s next chief minister, BSP supremo Mayawati leads the pack. As many as 31 per cent of the respondents said she was their first choice. Incumbent Akhilesh Yadav comes in second in the popularity sweepstakes with 27 per cent people backing him. Union home minister and former CM Rajnath Singh comes at third (18 per cent vote share) and 14 per cent support Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath. As many as 54 per cent of the respondents said they disagreed with the notion of Congress Mukt Bharat.
As per the findings, the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh faces sharp anti-incumbency. On an average, 59 per cent of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the SP administration over the last four-and-a-half years.
The BJP is gaining big as it is getting support of Other Backward Classes in the state with 44 per cent of the non-Yadav OBCs saying that they will vote for the lotus symbol.
In addition, the upper castes of UP also appear to be firmly backing the BJP, with 61 per cent pledging their support.
While the SP is holding on to its core Yadav (67 per cent) votes, a majority of Muslims (58 per cent) prefer staying with the SP. Around 21 per cent of Muslims indicated that they would vote for the BSP.
Not surprisingly, a majority (71 per cent) of the Dalit respondents indicated that they would be voting for the BSP.