Opinion poll hints BSP hurting Cong in Chhattisgarh, MP

The Lokniti-CSDS opinion poll claims that the BSP may not be making "much headway but nonetheless showing potential of hurting" the prospects of Congress in Chhattisgarh while the votes it garners could determine whether the BJP will retain Madhya Pradesh (MP).

If one goes by an opinion poll, BSP chief Mayawati's decision appears to be restricting the Congress' fortunes and may also affect the next Lok Sabha polls.

Mayawati had moved away from the Congress in Chhattisgarh and joined hands with veteran leader Ajit Jogi.

The Lokniti-CSDS opinion poll claims that the BSP may not be making "much headway but nonetheless showing potential of hurting" the prospects of Congress in Chhattisgarh while the votes it garners could determine whether the BJP will retain Madhya Pradesh (MP).

The poll conducted in the second half of October shows that the Congress could trounce the ruling BJP in Rajasthan while the saffron party is all set to retain Chhattisgarh for a fourth consecutive term.

Opinion Poll by ABP-Lokniti-CSDS
Source: ABP-Lokniti-CSDS

MP is likely to go the wires though the present poll gives the BJP an edge.

BSP is a "marginal but important" player in these states and its performance could have an impact at the national level where the Opposition is working on a united platform to take on the Narendra Modi government in the Lok Sabha elections.

According to the poll, the Jogi-Maya alliance is “damaging” the Congress far more than BJP in Chhattisgarh as nearly one in six traditional Congress voters are planning to vote for the JCC-BSP alliance.

The story is same in Madhya Pradesh with several Congress and BSP voters were keen on a pre-poll alliance.

The survey also says that the BSP is currently the choice of about 2% voters in Rajasthan and 6% voters in MP.

"If the MP election indeed goes down to the wire, as the survey currently suggests, even a mere 2-3% votes for the BSP could well end up determining who gets to form the government," it said.

At present, the prediction by ABP News on the basis of this projection is that the BJP is likely to get 116 out of 230 seats in the MP Assembly, leaving 105 to Congress and others, including BSP which is expected to win nine.

While the contest is described as on "knife's edge", the Lokniti-CSDS said that the Congress is "unable to fully capitalise" on the social disenchantment in Madhya Pradesh due to perceived corruption and controversy over SC-ST Act. It is attributed to the Congress's "failure" to arrive at an electoral understanding with the BSP.

"The survey found over half of those planning to vote for the Congress and close to three-fourths of those planning to vote for the BSP to be of the opinion that there should have been a pre-election alliance between the two parties. This sentiment was also found to be quite strong among Scheduled Castes as a whole," it said.

However, it points to the decision of Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS) founder Hiralal Alawa's decision to contest on a Congress ticket and said that it assumes significance as it could change the dynamics.

In Chhattisgarh, the BSP seems to be "upsetting the electoral calculations" of Congress and "with far greater success at that".

The opinion polls finds BSP's alliance with Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC), a breakaway from the Congress, to be cornering about 15% of the total votes.

"A large chunk of this vote for the BSP-JCC alliance seems to be coming from the Congress’s social base thus benefiting the BJP in its bid to retain power for a fourth consecutive term," the Lokniti-CSDS said.

"The Jogi alliance seems to be damaging the Congress far more than BJP as nearly one in six traditional Congress voters are planning to vote for JCC-BSP in the coming election. On the other hand the vote shift from the BJP to the JCC alliance is four times less, as only 4% of traditional BJP voters were found to be voting for the new alliance," it said.

"The dent made by JCC and BSP to the Congress’s traditional votes is greatest among Scheduled Castes and tribals. About 23% of the Scheduled Castes who described themselves as traditional Congress voters and 16% of Adivasis who used to vote for the Congress earlier are now planning to vote for the JCC-BSP alliance. This has ensured that the BJP is now neck and neck with the Congress in terms of votes among Scheduled Castes and tribals," it added.

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Opinion poll hints BSP hurting Cong in Chhattisgarh, MP

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