Prime Minister Narendra Modi still enjoys 42 percent popularity in India ahead of the 2019 elections but a clear majority may evade him if a Bahujan Samaj Pary and Samajwadi Party alliance materialises, results from a recently conducted opinion poll suggest.
According to the ABP News-CVoter survey, if the SP-BSP-RLD alliance fails to become a reality before the 2019 Lok Saba polls, the NDA will come to power with 291 seats, 19 more than required. The two regional parties will be limited to two to four seats each, whereas 72 seats will go to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
However, if the alliance between the two works out, NDA will be reduced to 247 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, 25 short of a clear majority. Out of the total 80 members the Hindi heartland state sends to Lok Sabha, 50 will be from the SP-BSP combine along with Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal; NDA will be restricted to 28 seats as compared to 73 sets it got in 2014. The Congress will only manage to win two seats.
The survey results have already propped BJP allies on a higher plank for seat negotiations. Ashish Patel of the Apna Dal, an NDA ally said, "State BJP leadership isn't giving us the respect we deserve, they should learn from recent losses. The SP-BSP alliance is a challenge for us and allies in UP are upset. The leadership at Centre must do something, otherwise NDA would suffer in Uttar Pradesh."
Meanwhile, another state that the BJP should watch out for is Maharashtra.
In Maharashtra, if the BJP fails to iron out differences with the Shiv Sena it may face severe losses in the state. If Shiv Sena decides to stick to its decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls separately, and the Congress allies with the NCP then the UPA will win 30 out of 48 seats while the NDA may get only 18.
The survey, however, predicted windfall returns for the saffron party in other North Indian states.
The recent defeat in Assembly polls does not seem to dampen BJP's prospects in the Lok Sabha. The survey suggests that the NDA will win 47 seats in the three states it recently lost to the Congress, while the UPA will only manage 18 seats from Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh combined.
In Bihar, if polls were to be conducted today, the JD(U), BJP and LJP combine will bag 35 out of the 40 seats, whereas the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan will be restricted to a mere five seats.
In Odisha, the BJP is likely to get a big win against the Biju Janata Dal. According to the survey, the saffron party is likely to win 16 out of the 21 seats while Naveen Patnaik's party will be reduced to only six seats.
Similarly, in Modi's home state Gujarat, the BJP will win all but two Lok Sabha seats in the state. If the survey's predictions are to be believed, BJP will win 24 of the 26 seats while the Congress-led alliance will only get 2 seats.
An earlier survey conducted by the same channel also predicted an upper hand for the BJP. A survey published in October said that the NDA will win with a clear majority of 276 seats in the Lok Sabha elections; the UPA will win 112 seats. The vote share of NDA and UPA will be 38 percent and 25 percent respectively, the survey predicted.
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Updated Date: Jan 15, 2019 10:26:49 IST