POLL RACE GETS CLOSER FOR RAJE, SHIVRAJ & RA­MAN

IN­DIA TO­DAY TV POLL Ra­jasthan CM’s po­si­tion has weak­ened MP, C’garh CMs in tough fights KCR far ahead in T’gana

Mail Today - - NEWS - By Neha Chan­dra and Harmeet Shah Singh in New Delhi

THE BJP faces a neck-and-neck con­test in Mad­hya Pradesh and Ch­hat­tis­garh and a de­ba­cle in Ra­jasthan in the up­com­ing Assem­bly elec­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Po­lit­i­cal Stock Ex­change (PSE). In Te­lan­gana, chief min­is­ter K. Chan­drasekhar Rao looks set to sweep the De­cem­ber 7 state poll, with 75 per cent vot­ers found to be back­ing his Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi.

In what could be a closely fought elec­tion, the BJP re­serves a 52 per cent chance to re­tain power in Mad­hya Pradesh, the PSE data show.

In neigh­bour­ing Ch­hat­tis­garh, chief min­is­ter Ra­man Singh stands a 55 per cent prob­a­bil­ity to win a ma­jor­ity again, but his Ra­jasthan coun­ter­part Va­sund­hara Raje con­fronts a sticky

wicket in her bid for an­other term, with only 35 per cent of stakes show­ing up in her favour, the sur­vey re­vealed.

MAD­HYA PRADESH

The vote-share gap be­tween the in­cum­bent BJP and its ri­val Con­gress is ex­pected to swing be­tween one and three per cent.

Ac­cord­ing to the PSE, the saf­fron party wins seats with big mar­gins in ur­ban pock­ets whereas the dif­fer­ence in vil­lages is nar­row.

A pre-poll al­liance be­tween the Con­gress and the BSP -- which didn't work out -- would have had a much higher chance of vic­tory, the data sug­gested. Mayawati's party is tipped to poll around 6 per cent votes in Mad­hya Pradesh.

The sur­vey showed the Con­gress would have gained by declar­ing for­mer Union min­is­ter Jy­oti­ra­ditya Scin­dia as its chief min­is­te­rial can­di­date. Scin­dia en­joys high pop­u­lar­ity among young vot­ers.

What ap­pears to be go­ing in favour of the BJP is a frac­tured Op­po­si­tion in the Novem­ber 28 state Assem­bly elec­tion, the PSE ob­served.

The BJP's for­tunes hang pre­car­i­ously to a dis­com­fort­ing lead of two per cent over the op­po­si­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey find­ings, 42 per cent of the re­spon­dents backed the present Shivraj Singh Chouhan gov­ern­ment for an­other term while 40 per cent sought a change.

Un­em­ploy­ment fol­lowed by farm-re­lated prob­lems, price rise and drink­ing wa­ter have emerged as ma­jor is­sues for the state, ac­cord­ing to the PSE sur­vey based on tele­phonic in­ter­views across 29 par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies, with a sam­ple size of 11,712.

RA­JASTHAN

In Ra­jasthan, the Con­gress seemed to be in a com­fort­able po­si­tion for a vic­tory over the Raje gov­ern­ment. Party leader Ashok Gehlot is the top choice for the CM post.

What goes against the BJP in the state is a wave of anger among the low-caste and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties, the sur­vey showed. The saf­fron party is also los­ing ground in its tra­di­tional strongholds in ur­ban pock­ets.

The poll found a very strong anti-in­cum­bency against the Raje gov­ern­ment but Naren­dra Modi re­mains the pop­u­lar choice as PM.

At the state level, elec­tion equa­tions could have changed with a change in the BJP's CM face, the poll sug­gested.

For both the BJP and the Con­gress, the likely voter share gap ap­pears to be be­tween three and five per cent.

Un­em­ploy­ment, san­i­ta­tion, agrar­ian prob­lems, drink­ing wa­ter and price rise are the top con­cerns for Ra­jasthan vot­ers, said the sur­vey con­ducted 25 par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies via tele­phone in­ter­views, with a sam­ple size of 10,136.

CH­HAT­TIS­GARH

In Ch­hat­tis­garh, the al­liance be­tween Ajit Jogi's Janta Con­gress Ch­hat­tis­garh and the BSP seems to be help­ing the BJP in the state elec­tions, the sur­vey in­di­cated. The tie-up is likely to bag seven per cent vote.

With Op­po­si­tion votes get­ting split, the vote-share gap among the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties re­main nar­row.

CM Ra­man Singh's smart­phone dis­tri­bu­tion scheme is pay­ing div­i­dends to his party, but not in the Naxal-hit Bas­tar re­gion, where the BJP re­mains un­pop­u­lar, the poll showed.

Over­all, the chief min­is­ter tops the pop­u­lar­ity chart even af­ter three terms in of­fice. State Con­gress leader Bhu­pesh Baghel and Jogi trail the CM.

Un­em­ploy­ment has been found to be the key is­sue for the state vot­ers, ac­cord­ing to the poll con­ducted in 11 Lok Sabha con­stituen­cies, with a sam­ple size of 4,486.

TE­LAN­GANA

What's help­ing KCR in the state is a strong pro-in­cum­bency wave, the poll showed. The chief min­is­ter has been found to be lead­ing among all seg­ments of pop­u­la­tion. Be­sides, the CM's so­cial-wel­fare schemes are serv­ing as a bonus for KCR.

The early dis­so­lu­tion of the state Assem­bly to ad­vance elec­tions has emerged as a masterstroke by the chief min­is­ter. The re­cent Con­gress-TDP al­liance, how­ever, doesn't seem to be de­liv­er­ing re­sults, the sur­vey sug­gested. Asadud­din Owaisi's AIMIM seems to be mar­ring Con­gress for­tunes in Hy­der­abad area. The Te­lan­gana PSE sur­vey was con­ducted across 17 par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies via tele­phonic in­ter­views, with a sam­ple size of 6,877.

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