A week before the Bihar election begins, another opinion poll has given the victory to the BJP-led NDA alliance. According to a pre-poll survey Lokniti-CSDS, exclusively conducted for The Indian Express, the BJP alliance, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to surge ahead of the Grand Alliance by a margin of at least four percent. However, Nitish Kumar still remains the favourite for the post of the chief minister.
This is the fourth pre-poll survey that puts the BJP in the lead in the upcoming Bihar Assembly election. According to the Lokniti-CSDS survey, the NDA will get 42 percent of the votes while the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine is poised to get 38 percent. According to the pre-poll survey, the Third Front led by the Samajwadi Party and Pappu Yadav will not be making any noticeable impact.
The Left parties and BSP are on further decline and AIMIM's chief Asaduddin Owaisi is hardly making any difference. However, the poll noted that through campaigning, these parties might garner a few Muslim votes. The survey was conducted among 2,079 respondents in 120 locations across 30 constituencies. These constituencies were randomly selected using the "probability proportionate to size" method.
Major opinion polls across the country, have until now given the verdict in favour of the NDA-led alliance in Bihar and the Lokniti-CSDS survey has said that the social profiling of the support that the two alliances are getting, is pretty clear. The NDA has the backing of the upper castes, lower OBCs and sections of Dalits — mainly the Paswan community. Meanwhile, the Mahagathbandhan is heavily dependent on the support of the Yadavs, Kurmi-Koeris and Muslims. The poll added that the BJP is preferred in urban constituencies, while the Grand Alliance is a favourite of urban constituencies.
Going by the voting pattern in the last few elections, it’s proven that individual castes have voted for parties of their choice in large numbers.
According to The Indian Express, numbers for the Grand Alliance just look good on paper, but it is not necessary that they translate into reality. First of all, the members of the 'grand alliance' are hardly adding any 'grand' value to the tie-up. As mentioned in an earlier Firstpost article, the RJD might turn out to be a burden for the JD(U).
Various caste communities in Bihar seem to be polarised in favour of or against one of the two big alliances ahead of the state Assembly polls. However, as Sanjay Kumar of Firstpost argues in this piece, it is the lower backward caste voters, referred to as Most Backward Castes, who might decide the outcome of the elections.
Even though the BJP has the backing of the pre-poll surveys to boost their morale a week before voting for Phase I begins, there is no let-up in the popularity of the incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. In fact, reports suggest that if elections could be won on the basis of popularity alone, Nitish would win hands down. However, Nitish's popularity has gone down considerably since his tie-up with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. The negative impact of the company Nitish has chosen was also evident in the India Today–Cicero opinion poll. The poll showed that Nitish is still the best candidate for chief minister, but the NDA might just pull off a win.
All in all, a majority of the pre-poll surveys hint at a neck-and-neck competition between the two major alliances.
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Updated Date: Oct 07, 2015 13:02:43 IST