BJP to retain UP with significant reduction in number of seats
New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to return to power in 2022 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, though with significant reduction in the number of seats that the saffron party is expected to win, as per the latest round of opinion poll of more than 72,000 samples surveyed in the ABP-CVoter-IANS poll between first weeks of October and November.
Other key political players in the state - Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress are not in a position to dislodge the Yogi Adityanath government in 2022, as things stand today.
According to the latest round of opinion polls, the ruling BJP is expected to grab 40.7 per cent of the vote share in the Assembly polls. Notably, the saffron party has continuously maintained its vote share of around 41 per cent in the state; in 2017 Assembly elections the BJP had garnered 41.4 per cent of the votes polled.
As for other the vote share of other key political players in the state, the survey shows that while the vote share of SP is expected to witness a jump of 7.5 per cent from 23.6 per cent in 2017 to 31.1 per cent in 2022, the BSP's vote share is likely to witness a slump of 7.1 per cent from 22.2 per cent in 2017 to 15.1 per cent in 2022.
The country's grand old party - Congress, out of power in the state since 1989, is expected to get 8.9 per cent of the votes. It had secured 6.3 per cent votes in 2017.
In terms of number of seats, as per the survey data, BJP and its allies are projected to grab seats in a range of 213 to 221 seats in 2022 Assembly polls. Though BJP and its alliance partners will witness a dip of almost 100 seats from the figure of 325 seats they had won in 2017, the coalition is expected to cross the majority figure comfortably.
The total strength of Uttar Pradesh Assembly is 403 seats.
The SP and its alliance partners, emerging as key challenger to the saffron party are expected to win 152 to 160 seats this time. The survey further shows that BSP is continuously losing the political ground in the state as the party can secure victory on just 16 to 20 seats. Congress party is likely to grab 6 to 10 seats.
Notably, the survey found that more people don't want to see incumbent Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath returning to power once again in 2022. During the survey, while 51.9 per cent of the respondents said that they don't want Yogi Adityanath to occupy the post, 48.9 per cent expressed their opinion in his favour.
However, interestingly, when compared to other key contenders for the post of Chief Minister, Yogi is still the most preferred choice for the top post in the state. During the survey, while 41.4 per cent of the respondents said that Yogi is their preferred choice, 31.4 per cent opined in favour of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav for the top job and 15.6 per cent of the respondents said they want to see BSP supremo Mayawati as next Chief Minister.
Only 4.9 per cent of those interviewed during the survey wanted Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to be the next chief minister of the state.
Another interesting finding of the survey is that the majority of the respondents believe Mayawati, a key political player in the state for more than three decades, has become irrelevant in this election.
While 60.3 per cent of those, who were surveyed, believe that the Dalit leader is out of race for the upcoming Assembly polls, only 30.7 per cent believe that she is still a key contender.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi has been actively campaigning for her party in Uttar Pradesh, leading protests over a host of issues in the recent months, however, the survey data suggests that her political activism won't benefit the grand old party in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.
Out of those interviewed, while 52.8per cent% of the respondents said that Congress will not benefit from Priyanka Gandhi being active in Uttar Pradesh, 47.2 per cent believe that Gandhi will be able to woo enough voters for the party.
The Lakhimpur Kheri incident in which protesters were run over and mob lynching took place will dent the BJP's electoral prospects, as per the latest round of survey conducted after the horrific incident.
During the survey while 62.1 per cent of the respondents opined that the Lakhimpur Kheri incident will harm the BJP's election prospects, 21.5 per cent said that the saffron party will benefit from the incident, which snowballed into major controversy triggering widespread protests by the farming community.
The survey data suggests that the strategy Akhilesh Yadav is forging alliance with smaller parties that are essentially caste-centric with support restricted to a few districts like O.P. Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharat Samaj Party (SBSP) will harm the BJP's electoral prospects in the upcoming Assembly polls.
The survey data suggests that unemployment, farmers' protest, inflation and the Ram temple will be key issues in the upcoming Assembly polls.
During the survey, while 29.7 per cent of the respondents said law and order will be the biggest issue, 16.7 per cent opined that unemployment will be the most important issue. While 14.7 per cent of those interviewed feel inflation will be the major issue, 14.1 per cent said that Ram temple will be the most significant.