SURGICAL SAFFRON SURGE
CALL IT A MONUMENTAL MANDATE for change, or a wave of fierce antiincumbency against respective state governments, but the India Today GroupAxis My India opinion poll predicts, in an exclusive pre-election survey of 37,866 voters, that if elections were held today in the five states scheduled to go to polls in 2017, the BJP would be the frontrunner in four—Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa—and the Congress would take Punjab. The saffron surge is partly a result of the surgical strikes in PoK by the Indian army in response to the Uri attack. An overwhelming majority of voters polled (as high as 90 per cent in UP, 88 per cent in Punjab and 77 per cent in Uttarakhand) say the strikes on terrorist camps by India were a good thing. About 91 per cent in UP, 90 per cent in Uttarakhand and 79 per cent in Punjab said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged stronger as a result. Will the surgical strikes help the BJP electorally? About 67 per cent polled in UP say yes, as do 76 per cent in Uttarakhand.