Pollsters give Trinamool lead in West Bengal

Pollsters give Trinamool lead in West Bengal

Even as the Congress high command continues to drag its feet over striking an alliance with the Left Front in West Bengal, pre-poll surveys have started throwing up interesting figures. 

If a Trinamool Congress survey claims a clean sweep for itself, an independent survey points out that a tie-up between Left and Congress will pose some threat to the ruling party.

The survey published by Trinamool in the latest issue of Maa Mati Manush, a weekly Bengali periodical published under the aegis of party mouthpiece — Jaago Bangla — stated the party will win 224 of the 294 seats.  It admitted that results are based on the assumption the forthcoming electoral battle will be a four-corner fight, with the Left and the Congress contesting separately.

The survey, conducted between January 27 and January 31, claimed Trinamool will win at least 189 of 240 seats in South Bengal districts, with the highest, 30 out of 32, likely to come from North 24 Parganas, the most populous district in India. 

In North Bengal, the ruling party is expected to bag 35 of 54 seats, with its poorest performance expected in Darjeeling Hills, where it could win just two of the six seats. In 2011, Trinamool won 184 seats.

Interestingly, 46 per cent respondents seem to believe it is a near-impossibility for the central leadership of Congress and Left to agree on an alliance. Further, 61 per cent respondents preferred Mamata Banerjee as chief minister, with only around 20 per cent rooting for CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra. 

The survey was attributed to Political Affairs Research Centre, but a search on the internet could not provide any information on the centre or its activities.

Another survey, conducted by prominent agency AC Nielsen on behalf of a leading Bengali news channel, claimed that while Trinamool will continue to rule Bengal irrespective of a Congress-Left alliance, in case of an alliance, the ruling party could face challenges. 

According to this survey, Trinamool will win 182 seats if the alliance happens; and 197 seats if the poll is a four-corner fight.

Conducted across 103 Assembly constituencies in 20 districts with 12,500 respondents, the survey revealed that the Congress-Left alliance has become key to the elections.

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